How I Use It
I use it mostly for quick temperature checks. So, I mainly use the quick multiple choice or short answer formats. I would write a question on the board (or have students generate them) and then get students to type on their device their response. I can then instantly show students all their peers responses (no names) and then have them give me their thoughts on their classmate's responses. I use the multiple choice function to gauge levels of understanding but also to give me an instant analysis of where my students are with a particular problem or question. You can prepare quizzes or questions ahead of the time but I don't use that capability often. I like to generate questions on the fly in the course of where classroom discussion takes me. Can you imagine how powerful this is? I don't have to wait for a formal assessment tool (benchmarking or otherwise) to see where my students are at. I can be proactive instead of reactive at the time of learning and that is where the beauty of Socrative lies.
If you have a class greater than 10, the Socrative tool is an easy simple way for students and teachers to interact real-time. It allows for quick temperature checks for where all your students are at any given moment and keeps students engaged since they are using their own device for student responses. Responses can be shown to the class as a whole and teachers can ask students questions based on these responses (some are short answer, others are multiple choice). As long as the teacher uses this tool as a part of a seamless integration of a lesson, this is extremely effective. It should not, however, bog down the learning by getting students too focused on their devices and not on the general classroom discussion, focused too much on getting the right/wrong answer on multiple choice quizzes, and on ambiguity of anonymity (the teacher should be purposeful in whether he/she wants student names to appear or not). However, if the tool is used to quickly gauge student learning and allows for student discussion on others answers in a safe, non-judgmental environment, it's an amazing tool that will enhance your instruction, particularly in the world of Common Core.