Teachers are always looking for ways to make their lives easier and at the same time maintain a high level of student engagement and growth. There are a number of apps out there that do this and selecting one to use in the classroom can be a time consuming endeavor. Learning the parameters and functions, as well as limitations, of an application could be seen as off putting to those who are less familiar with technology. This is an unfortunate problem, as it is these very applications that can introduce ‘non tech’ teachers to the value of technology in the classroom. Perhaps starting with something more traditional, at least in appearance, would encourage individuals to dip their feet in the ‘digital pool’?
If you are looking to start with something more traditional looking then Socrative is a great option. The user interface for Socrative is quite simple and user friendly. There are enough options to allow educators to personalize content without too many bells and whistles. Socrative will run on most devices (I have not found any that present a problem) and transfers well to laptops, iPads or students personal devices. In using the program I have yet to have a crash of either data or operation. This has been, in my opinion one of the best parts of using Socrative. It is reliable and consistent.
The choices in Socrative, while seemingly simple actually offer quite a variety of uses. There are the traditional quizzes which allow for the usual options: multiple choice, true/false, and short answer. Also available are: quick questions, exit slips and a more game like option called space race. These will be discussed later in the activities section.
Most options are simply toggles to on/off or yes/no. There really isn’t a learning curve with this app and it can be used quite literally as soon as you have created an account.
Creating and Account
- The site is considered to be in BETA Release. This means that the finalized format of the site has not yet been realized, and the terms and policies of the site are subject to change. This is something that users should consider as the use of personal information, or usage patterns defined in the BETA Release may change in the final iteration of the software.
- School divisions have different policies regarding the download or affiliation to software. Depending on the network systems and hardware used in schools certain applications should not, or perhaps will not, be accessible.
- Links to Third Party Sites. How this really transpires is definitely out of my ‘realm of tech knowledge’. However, the basic gist of it is that the site is or has the option to share information or connect you to third party sites such as Google, Facebook, or other affiliate applications
“We may collect information about you directly from you and from third parties, as well as automatically through your use of our Site or Services.”
Of course if you branch into these sites through login procedures you are connecting your Socrative information with your contacts, and agree to this happening, and by simply having an account agree to a degree of information disclosure. The site also advises that cookies and direct tracking and gathering of information may be used when the site is accessed. This as well as concerns regarding student information will be addressed in the section on privacy.
Coming up next…