Highly effective teachers strive to keep all students engaged in the classroom. And many see “engagement” as “discussion.” However, a traditional question-and-answer class conversation can limit the number of participants.

To combat this dilemma, put your classroom discussions through a 21st Century makeover by introducing “polling” to your students. There are four websites/apps that are particularly fabulous–and all do NOT require students to have their own devices. Using any of the following options, teachers can obtain real-time feedback from EVERY student in the classroom.

Option for ANY classroom

  • Plickers–This FREE classroom-response website is phenomenal simply because it does NOT require students to have their own devices. No more batteries to replace, no more expensive equipment to purchase, no more BYOD! A teacher can gather immediate feedback using only one device–his own smartphone or a tablet. Click here to better understand how Plickers works.

Options for 1:1 environments or Computer Lab

  • Kahoot–Within Kahoot, teachers create a quiz, discussion, or survey that students respond to through any device with a Web browser. Questions can include pictures and videos, which makes Kahoot such a hit with students. For more information regarding Kahoot, view this tutorial.
  • Poll Everywhere–Ideal for presentations and classroom lessons, Poll Everywhere promotes live audience participation through questions with multiple-choice answers, true/false answers, free-response answers, or clickable images. Participants respond via text message or Web browser for live results. (A unique feature with this site is the ability to embed a poll within a website or social media.) For a brief introduction to Poll Everywhere, view this video.
  • Pear Deck–Operating under Google Apps for Education, Pear Deck promotes active learning and real-time data. Click here to learn about the many applications of Pear Deck in your classroom.

For more technology tools and resources follow Nadine Gilkison (Smekens Education Digital Resource Designer) on www.fttechtips.com or @nadinegilkison on Twitter.

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