Picking my first tech tip to share was a tough one. So, I decided to start with a tool that I find really easy to integrate and also very engaging for my students; it’s called Socrative. Socrative is a free web-based tool that turns any web-enabled device into a student response or clicker system. You can use this tool on an iPad, iPhone, computer, Android device, anything that has a web-browser. There are also apps for use on the iPad and Android tablets. Here’s how it works: as the teacher, you need to sign up for a free account and log in. You select a “room number” that students will use to access your activities. Then, you can use the simple interface to create a variety of activities to check for understanding. From student-paced quizzes with multiple choice, true/false, or short answer questions to exit tickets and even a game, the activities offer many possibilities that are beneficial to the work we are doing with our students. Students access the activities you have created by going to the Socrative site and entering your virtual room. At the conclusion of most activities, the teacher can choose to have a report of the session e-mailed. I’ve used Socrative in a variety of ways. I’ve created brief multiple-choice quizzes to give after presenting a grammar topic to use as formative assessment. Socrative is great for this as it e-mails a report of how your students performed. I use the “single question short answer” option to facilitate a grammar hunt as a post reading activity. I launch the question and ask students to find me an example of a particular grammar structure or form in the text. As students enter their responses, I project them and we can talk through whether or not they are correct. I get responses from virtually every student in class and, therefore, have better information about how they are doing than I would if I had conducted the activity by calling on a handful of students. In all, Socrative is quick to learn and easy to integrate. Try it out!
To get started by creating your teacher account, go to www.socrative.com
For more ideas, check out www.socrative.com/garden