Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Interactive Social Assessment: Poll Everywhere

Here's a Web 2.0 tool to immediately create interest during PowerPoint presentations:
  • Ask your audience a question
  • They answer using SMS text messages or the web
  • Results update live in your web browser or PowerPoint
This is the URL for the classroom side of the picture: http://www.polleverywhere.com/sms-classroom-response-system
Yes, it does require people to have cell phones and text messaging or browsing capabilities, but imagine the uses this would have in an audience.  There is no charge for up to 30 people using it at a time. Costs for larger groups are quite reasonable. You can sign up for free and there is instant set-up. No equipment (other than the cell phones) is needed.

Increase classroom participation and attentiveness
Encourage risk-taking with anonymous student responses
Elicit diverse opinions when there isn't a correct answer
Expose social misconceptions
Gauge student comprehension of material immediately
Grab students with thought-provoking opening questions
Allow students to provide instructor feedback
Automate taking attendance
Assess last night's reading with a quick quiz
Strengthen retention

Poll Everywhere can accept student responses via SMS text messaging on mobile phones, smartphones with data plans, or regular computers and wireless laptops via the web. Smartphones such as BlackBerries, iPhones, and Windows Mobile devices are quickly gaining popularity, and students can bypass SMS text messaging fees by responding through their smartphone web browser.