How I Use It
Teaching English Literature, I used it often to check for student understanding of a given text. For example when reading The Scarlet Letter I would have the students summarize the cogent points of the assigned reading before our discussion. A nice feature of Socrative is that I can then send the responses back to the students. Because I am in a 1-1 environment, the students could see everyone's responses instantly and then were able to identify trends.
I've also used this tool when teaching a difficult subject to quickly measure student understanding. While teaching logical fallacies - a very advanced argumentative strategy - I would orally give an example and have the students identify, within Socrative, what the fallacy was. I could use their responses to gain insight as to whether the class truly understood it, instead of waiting for quiz results.
Within the classroom setting I also use Socrative to introduce new units. When I was beginning a unit on Argument analysis and the ways in which arguments were constructed, I created a Socrative quiz that used images of magazine Ads and then asked the students what the primary argument of the advertisement was. The quiz was not given as a graded assessment, but instead as a method to draw upon prior knowledge and experiences. I found this to be a quite effective method of starting a unit, as I was able to share with the students the class' overall performance and we could launch our discussion from that.
What I like about this product is that it is easy to set up and even easier for students to use. Because there is no need for students to create a user name and password, it makes it so simple for students to "join" your classroom. There is hardly anytime lost in class for connecting. Of course the one downfall of that is that when the students join your classroom, they are anonymous. Any activity that requires student identification will require a question asking the students their name. While this is not a huge deal, there is always the potential for students to forge another student's name. As a result, I always ask a second tier identification question, such as "What is your 5 digit school ID #" I've never had to check the veracity of that question, but had the information, just in case I needed to.
I think Socrative is a great teaching tool for classrooms where devices are allowed - either school provided or student provided. Using Socrative allows teachers to gather quick baseline data on their students and know whether or not there is a need for remediation or further development of a given topic. I would never use Socrative for a graded quiz or test. But I think it serves as great way to introduce a topic and activate prior knowledge, or as a great checkpoint along the way.
At our school, Formative Assessment is a school wide goal and Socrative lends itself to this task. We are a 1:1 device school. so I have the luxury of using Socrative without much prior planning, needing to reserve a computer lab or haul a cart of devices to my classroom. As I've used Socrative over the past two years I've noticed the students who are normally passive and quiet in the corner become engaged in the activities. Socrative allows those that don't necessarily feel comfortable in class to participate in a non-threatening way. As a teacher, this is heartening, as it's simply another vehicle in my attempt tor each all of my students.
I do wish, however, Socrative allowed for more students to take an activity than 50. Because of this cap, I have to end and restart activities at multiple points throughout the day. This also limits the ability to use this outside of the classroom.