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Pros: Well-designed polls can get students actively involved in discussion via just about any device.
Cons: Each poll must be reset individually; somewhat outdated design; many features teachers would find useful require a paid plan.
Bottom Line: Quick setup and interactive features allow students to engage and teachers to receive and provide immediate feedback.
Start class with a quick, three-question warm-up with Poll Everywhere to review the previous day's material or assess how much students know about the upcoming lesson topic. As you move through the lesson, stop periodically to ask questions that spark classroom discussion, allowing opportunities for students who are reluctant to speak up to share their thoughts with classmates. Jazz up your questions by including a mix of text and images as responses, or ask students to write one-word reflections to form a word cloud of their reactions to a powerful thought-provoking activity. Need a quick snapshot of how students are feeling or where the class knowledge or progress is on a particular concept? Administer a group survey that incorporates an ice breaker, a clickable image, and an open-ended question. Then ask students what they would need to fully understand and feel good about the material.
Make sure to get students involved in the design process. Show them how to deliver audience-grabbing information by integrating polls and surveys in their presentations to appeal to various audiences as well as entice audience participation.
Poll Everywhere is a student-response tool that offers whole-class participation and assessment through teacher-designed surveys, polls, and discussion boards. Available on just about any platform, from the web to iOS and Android to all the major presentation providers, setup is quick and easy. Teachers can register for a free account with limited responder access that includes the ability to create questions that can incorporate images and text as well as graph results in real time. Paid Premium features include data reporting and grade features in addition to more responder access. Teachers create and project surveys; students use specific survey codes to text or submit responses from laptops, computers, or cell phones. It can be a great way to combat device distraction.
The dashboard's intuitive design, while somewhat lacking in pizazz, allows for quick classroom integration or for teachers to bank surveys for future use. Only those who have the specific code are able to participate in the surveys or discussion. In addition, users can integrate site-generated polls with PowerPoint, Google Slides, or Keynote presentations for a more engaging and interactive experience.
Poll Everywhere can invite more timid learners to engage with and relish whole-class discussion; students can all have their say, and then respond to real-time results with their detailed opinions or simply make conclusions about the results in general. On-the-spot assessment allows for quick but thoughtful instructional decisions in regards to learners' needs and gives teachers opportunities to adjust instruction as they move through a lesson. Of course, Poll Everywhere is only as good as the teacher questions, prompts, and response options; therefore, students will truly benefit from the experience and potential whole-class discussion if the prompt elicits such a conversation.
While the design is somewhat outdated, teachers can keep it interesting by alternating response types, and students can react to the real-time responses from their peers. Teachers may want to keep results hidden from students until everyone has answered; while this comes with some downtime as kids enter their responses, hiding the results will prevent influencing class opinions or revealing correct answers.