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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Four Good Alternatives to Clicker Systems

One of the benefits of allowing students to bring their cell phones into your classroom is that they can use them to give you anonymous feedback on sensitive questions and questions for which a name isn't necessary. For example, you might just want to take a survey of the average length of time your students spent studying for a quiz or how long it took them to complete an assignment. Here are four alternatives to purchasing clicker systems for your school while still gathering anonymous feedback from students.

Socrative is my favorite tool for collecting anonymous feedback from students. Socrative uses cell phones and or laptops (user's choice) for gathering feedback from students. You can post as many questions as you like in a variety of formats. One of the more fun question formats is the "space race" format in which students can work individually or in teams to answer questions as quickly as possible. The video below offers a nice overview of the Socrative system.


Socrative introduction video (new) from Socrative Inc. on Vimeo.


Poll Everywhere is a service that allows you to collect responses from an audience via text messaging. The free plan for K-12 educators provides selection of features and quantity of responses that is adequate for almost any classroom. One of the neat ways to display feedback gathered through Poll Everywhere is in word clouds. The word cloud feature integrates with WordleTagxedo, and Tagul.


Mobile Presenter Tools from Poll Everywhere on Vimeo.


Mentimeter allows you to pose a question to your audience and get instant feedback on that question through cell phones, tablets, and any other Internet-connected device. Mentimeter doesn't have has many features as Socrative or Poll Everywhere, but it is free and very easy to use. In the video below I provide a two minute demonstration of Mentimeter.


Infuse Learning is a free student response system that works with any Internet-connected device including iPads and Android tablets. Infuse Learning allows teachers to push questions, prompts, and quizzes out to students' devices in private virtual classrooms. In an Infuse Learning room a teacher can give students a wide variety of formats in which to response to a question or prompt. Students can reply to prompts and questions in standard multiple choice, true/false, and short answer formats. But Infuse Learning also offers an option for students to reply by creating drawings or diagrams on their iPads, Android tablets, or on their laptops.

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