How I Use It
In my science classroom, students often explore what are called "discrepant events." These are a series of science demonstrations for which the results of each successive event disagrees with the outcome of the previous ones. This gives rise to a discrepancy, which students must resolve through discussion, ultimately explainable by a scientific principle or concept. Discrepant events require interactive engagement from the students to predict outcomes and test hypotheses. Socrative makes it easy for students to vote on what they think will happen during a demonstration, but even easier for them to hypothesize (using short-answer questions) what they think was happening during what they observed. However, the most powerful use that I have had for Socrative is that students, after submitting short-answer responses to explain a phenomenon, can see all the students' ideas and vote on the one they support most. It gets students thinking about multiple points of view, comparing similarities and differences, and ultimately sparking discussion about how student thinking evolves during the events and after considering others' ideas on the matter. It facilitates both formative assessment and gives the students a foundation for a claim-evidence-reasoning framework of discourse in the classroom around a scientific concept. I have used it for creating quizzes, but moreover to share quizzes with other teachers. Each created quiz has a share code associated with it, which allows you to "import" someone else's quiz if you have their quiz share code. This takes the work out of "reinventing the wheel" on quizzes, especially if you're co-teaching or collaborating with others in your school teaching the same subject or class.
One of the most well-known of the student response apps out there, Socrative provides a clean interface for teacher and students to use. Using Socrative, teachers can create, share and repurpose quizzes on Socrative that can include images and text-based questions. On-the-go polling allows you to gauge the thinking of a class easily. The best feature of Socrative is the ability to administer an open-ended question and then give students the ability to vote on all of the responses on all the student-submitted answers to the open-ended question. It's a great tool for building consensus and sparking good class discussion. The teacher can control displayed responses during the open-ended questions for filtering purposes. Quiz results can be automatically graded and obtained in a report or chart for inclusion into your class gradebook. Since being acquired by Mastery Connect, Socrative's user interface has greatly improved. It is now much more intuitive to find the options and features you need. Additionally, they have added Google Drive integration so that reports can be sent directly to your Google Drive instead of emailed to you or downloaded. The space race feature is a very engaging and fun functionality. It lets small groups (teams) of students work together on one device to answer all the questions in a quiz correctly, and it tracks their progress for the teacher using a visual graphic of space rockets moving across a path according to a team's progress in the quiz.