How I Use It
During class lessons, students can use the GoSoapBox 'Social Q&A' as a backchannel for student-student discussion. The functionality for students to ask questions when they are not understanding something, but to do so without interrupting class, is a handy tool. Also, with Reddit-style upvoting power, the social Q&A allows other students to digitally say, "Yeah! I had that same question!"
This is an app I use regularly for formative assessment using the polling and quizzing functionalities, but also to facilitate open-ended dialogue using the discussion function. In my science classroom, we have used the Discussion feature to capture lab groups' results from experiments and quickly make classroom data available to every student. After crowd-sourcing experimental results, the students can use Q&A to analyze the data and collaborate on parts of a lab report.
Finally, we pushed the creative applications of GoSoapBox for a big class project. The physics students went to a roller coaster theme park and had the project of completing a physics road rally at the park using their mobile devices. GoSoapBox was used to facilitate the clues for the road rally using the discussion prompts, and students responded with their road rally findings in the discussion prompts and polls. The Social Q&A allowed students to keep up with one another during the activity, and the teacher could keep track of student progress even though students were all in different locations around the park with their groups. It was very easy-to-use and the kids loved using it to streamline their road rally.
GoSoapBox allows a teacher to prepare their question prompts, polls, discussions, and quizzes ahead of time. Within the created “event,” or online classroom, a teacher can open up or hide those pre-made activities at the exact time during a lesson that they need them. The best feature is by far that you can pre-load your student response system prompts before a lesson and deploy them when ready, including quizzes. What is missing currently from this tool is that you cannot translate open-ended responses into a poll for consensus-building activities. I like that it can store your previous events and you can leave the access code the same to allow students to revisit ideas shared during a GoSoapBox event, such as brain-storming sessions in the discussion section. It functions very smoothly on the mobile web and provides kids with a clean interface. Their pricing model allows free classroom access, but only up to 30 students. While this is a very generous pricing model, many middle and high school classrooms have more than 30 students, which makes it less accessible to all teachers to use. It is a perfect tool for facilitating staff meetings, professional development, or workshops with adult learners. The investment of a premium account for a school would be well worth it, because it could be a go-to tool for engaging teachers during meetings and continuing education. In the classroom, it could serve kids better if it had the capability to share images or links in addition to text. Overall, this is one of my go-to web tools, and my top pick for a student-response system app.