Google has been beefing up their apps and it has made an educator's job easier. Google has an entire suite of apps that replace Microsoft's suite and it is free. One of the more powerful apps that Google has created is called Google Forms. We have written a tutorial on how to use a form here.
The real power behind these forms is the ability to create small assessments and analyze data quickly. Once a form is created it can be embedded in a website or the link can be sent out to any email address. After students have answered the questions in the form the teachers receives all the data in a nice spreadsheet that is automagically created in Google Drive. The form allows for a student to answer multiple choice questions, free response paragraphs, simple text answers, and, for common core readiness, select all that apply type questions. So next time you want to create a simple assessment have students take a short google form, they can be accessed on any device that has access to the internet, that means android, ipad, pc, mac, etc.
Also, for PSUSD employees, all students have google accounts that means students can create assessments too.
Socrative can be run on any web browser including students’ smart phones or iDevices. With it, you can pose questions that students answer in real time to any kind of inquiry. You can use true/false, multiple choice, or even open-ended questions. Instructors log in to the instructor version and create the question, and students log in to the student version and answer them. It has a lot of potential for analyzing data in the short term. There are pre-designed activities to choose from. Using this tool, you can visually measure students understanding in real time and adjust your teaching on the fly. Responses can be displayed immediately or sent to the teacher’s email. This is a great tool to use for those tickets out the door! Best of all, it’s free!
If you are looking to be able to use any Internet-connected device (smart phones, tablets, computers) to poll your class quickly and easily, you can use Poll Everywhere. No special software or app set-up is needed.
Just go to http://www.polleverywhere.com/ and click on the link “Create Your First Poll.” You will see a pop-up and you just need to enter your first question. There is even a video tutorial in the pop-up link if you need support. Once you have created your questions, you will be given a website or text number to give to the class so they can respond using their devices. After students enter their responses you can chart and share the results.
You can create open-ended, true/false, or multiple choice questions, a PowerPoint presentation, and you can save your poll questions. However, you will want to feel comfortable with it first, so try it out with your friends. It does not have the ability to create student reports unless you pay for the personal plan, about $15 a month. But with the FREE version you get a quick and adaptable solution!