Slowly but surely, laptops and smartphones are being made part of the classroom. Even if teachers don’t like it, students will always try to find ways to use their phone or whatever electronic device they have, in class. In my practicum I had a discussion with my cooperative teacher. Her tactic is to let them be and she noticed that they actually use their cellphones less when they are allowed to use them. Using them as an educational tool seems, to me, to be a way to get the students to see cellphones as something more than a Facebook machine. Because cellphones and laptops are starting to be included in class, some people have started creating websites and apps tailored to their use. Socrative is a free and, in my opinion, great website to use in class. Socrative is a website where teachers and students can login at the same time.
Teachers can create quizzes and polls to get the general feeling of the class. There is a feature called “Exit Ticket” that allows teachers to poll how students understood what was shown in class. http://www.graphite.org/website/socrative-teacher-review/3888744 This teacher uses the exit ticket every class to get students’ feedback. I think it is a useful tool because students can express if they didn’t understand or didn’t like the class. It is a way for teachers to tailor their classes to the students’ interest. Also, for shy students who do not want to say they do not understand, the exit ticket ensures the teacher is made aware of the problem. The exit ticket also allows teachers to know when they have to clarify material. The website shows the statistics instantly on the teacher’s computer, and so the teacher can know instantly if the class was not clear or too difficult and can clarify certain things.
In Socrative, teachers can also create quizzes that contain multiple choice, short answer and even longer answer questions. These quizzes can serve as a review before exams or even at the end of the week to check students understanding of the content given during the week. The website also gives the grade report to the teacher by e-mail after a quiz is completed. Socrative also gives multiple and short answer templates of sorts. In short, the question does not have to appear on the Socrative app. The teacher can simply say it aloud and students can answer on their phones. http://itbabble.com/2012/02/06/socrative-com-a-review-2/ This blogger believes this tool was made as is on purpose so as to not slow down the class by having to type every question the teacher wants the students to answer. There is also a tool called “Space Race” which allows the quiz to be made into a sort of race game. I think this is a nice addition for younger students.
I like Socrative because its interface is very user-friendly and it takes no time to understand how everything works. In under half an hour I figured out how to use every main tool on the website. I also like to think that students would appreciate using a tool like this in class. It can also be used with practically every grade level. The interface is so easy I think even elementary school students would have not problem using it with a little instruction.
However using online tools like these can become a challenge. http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/app-of-the-week/app-review-socrative/ this associate professor brings up the problem of dealing with students having access to the internet. Because Socative is used online in brings up the problem of managing a class of 25 students who have access to the internet. Teachers have to be wary of what students will do. There are ways to block access to inappropriate websites and content, of course, but even better I think is to explain why they shouldn’t be looking at unrelated content during class. Some students will still do whatever they want and it is then that the teacher has to decide on a technique to use to keep the students on task.
That being said, used wisely Socrative is a great tool to include in more technological classes and because it’s free I don’t see why teachers everywhere wouldn’t give it a whirl!