Perhaps the greatest app ever created for education: Socrative. It’s greatness is beyond belief.
It is a web-based app. If your class has iPad or Android devices, you and your students can download it; if they have Chromebooks or laptops, they can use the website. It allows teachers to assigns quizzes and get a spreadsheet of the students’ results when they finish. It also has a feature called a “space race,” where students can take a quiz and compete each other to see who finishes the questions first.
That being said, the greatest, most awesome feature of Socrative, is simply the ability for students to communicate with the teacher. Let me know show you:
You create a classroom space, and students log in to the classroom. Like many other apps / websites, there is a code. My students have logged in so many times, they have it memorized!
Now, you can post a question through a projector, have them do multiple answers with name login, and they can answer it. I often do grammar exercises by posting something like this on the screen:
They will then complete it, and I will see a list of students with their answers.
I can immediately see that most of them get the idea of direct objects, but Bob does not. I can simply walk over to Bob, tell him to try again. After a few exercises like this, I find that Bob usually gets it. Before Socrative, he probably would have walked out at the end of class not knowing how to do it. This feature, in my opinion, is invaluable as a teacher. Not only do I get instant data, but I can also give instant corrective feedback.
This feature does not need to pertain to just grammar errors or math or chemistry problems. Sometimes in ELA or social studies, I ask students to answer a higher-order thinking question, demonstrate which is the best response, and the class votes on the best response.
Another way that I use it is to check in with students to see how they are doing on a group project. Sometimes, students and parents have complained that there is not enough time in class to work on projects. In response, I have begun asking student to tell me how group work is progressing.
In this case, I would go to Frank’s group and help the group overcome the challenges. Recently, I was able to help out two groups having difficulty getting their work done, and I knew that others had finished.
I find Socrative to be immensely useful, but because I don’t do the quizzes or the space race, I am currently using about 10% of its full capacity. If you haven’t used Socrative yet, what’s stopping you?