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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Stage a Space Race in Socrative

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to introduce a group of high school teachers to the free Socrative student response system. The response from the teachers was overwhelmingly positive to the point that one math teacher stayed with me for an extra twenty minutes just to brainstorm more ways to use Socrative in her classroom.

Socrative is a free service that allows teachers to post questions to students during a class and gather feedback through responses submitted from cell phones, tablets, and laptops. Socrative gives teachers a virtual room in which they gather responses from students. Students sign into a teacher's virtual room by simply visiting the Socrative website and entering the room number distributed by the teacher.

There are a variety of ways in which teachers can pose questions to students and gather their responses. The simplest way to pose a question is to simply ask verbally or post it on a whiteboard and then telling students to submit their answers. Teachers can also create quizzes ahead of time, store those quizzes in their Socrative accounts, and then make the quiz go "live" in the virtual room when they want students to take the quiz. Teachers can activate an instant feedback option so that students know when they have answered a question correctly or not. A fun way to use Socrative is to host a team "space race." A space race is a competitive format for quizzes. Space race can be played as a team or individual activity. Each correct answer moves a rocket ship across the screen. The first person or team to get their rocket across the screen wins. I've included below, a video of space race being used in a classroom.



Applications for Education
Socrative is a great alternative to expensive proprietary clicker systems. I really like that students can respond from any Internet-connected device without the need to install any apps or send text messages from their phones. Check out the Socrative blog for more ideas about how to use it in your classroom.