Review by Kirstin Sobotka, Common Sense Education | Updated June 2016

Poll Everywhere

Straightforward student-response tool does its job well

Common Sense Says:
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Grades
7-12 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Pros: Available on tons of platforms, and well-made polls can get students involved in discussion.

Cons: Key features such as reports and grading come with pricey paid version.

Bottom Line: Great if you're looking for simple polling, but more robust features that make Poll Everywhere competitive with other apps come with the $50/year version.

Use Poll Everywhere to conduct class-content-related surveys and spark classroom discussion. Review yesterday's concepts with multiple-choice or short-response questions that include text and images as responses. For instance, "Based upon yesterday's lesson, if we change one of the variables in the event or experiment, what could have resulted?" Let the class defend their response or make conclusions for the real-time results. Need a quick snapshot of where the class knowledge or progress is on a particular concept? Administer a quick poll and check out the results, then ask students what they would need to fully understand.

Make sure to get students involved. 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.

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Poll Everywhere is a student-response tool -- available on just about any platform from the web to iOS and Android to all the major presentation providers -- that offers assessment and whole-class participation through teacher-designed surveys, polls, and discussion boards. Teachers can register for a free account with limited responder access that includes the ability to make questions that can incorporate images and text as well as graph results in real time. Premium paid 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 response from laptops, computers, or cell phones. It can be a great way to combat device distraction.

Sleek design and an easy-to-use dashboard allow 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 survey or discussion. In addition to the quick-serve nature of the tool, site-generated polls can be integrated into PowerPoint presentations for real-time audience participation.

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On-the-spot assessment allows for quick but thoughtful instructional decisions in regards to learners' needs. 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 warrants such a conversation. Teachers can use text or images to relay responses, and students can react to the real-time responses from their peers.

Polls and surveys can invite more timid learners to engage with and relish whole-class discussion; students can all have their say, then respond to real-time results with their detailed opinions or simply make conclusions about the results in general. This can help students draw conclusions using data.

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Overall Rating
3

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?
3

Through teacher-designed surveys and thread discussions, students can use their mobile devices for more engaging learning experiences. However, Poll Everywhere, for better or worse, is less playful than many competitors.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?
3

When the tool is used effectively, teachers can craft unique assessment opportunities to spice up class participation and data reporting.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?
4

There's ample help for teachers via FAQs, tutorial videos, webinars, and educator resources. Paid version adds correct answer display as well as grading and reports.


Common Sense Reviewer
Kirstin Sobotka Classroom teacher