Well hello again! It has been a while since I’ve posted so hopefully I still know how to do this whole shin-dig. This week in class we reviewed many different systems to use in the classroom to make teachers life easier and entertain our students lives. The three systems that I’m choosing to review are Poll Everywhere, Kahoot and Spiral. Here we go!

TEACHER USE

Polleverywhere was very simple to use and creating the account was super quick! It’s free to use and making the questions for my class took no time at all. It allows students to answer the questions through texting so there in no need to have a class list beforehand. I only spent about 15 minutes creating my questions the first time around, but I think that after more uses I would be able to do it even quicker.

Kahoot is another one of my top favourites because it was so easy to set up and create! There is a free version available for teachers to use which is awesome. There is no upgrades so you know that this site is giving you all it’s got. The questions I made up were used in the quiz part of the site. There are 4 different ways to use Kahoot including quiz, jumble, discussion and survey. I didn’t have time to test out all of these, but I have a good feeling that they would be as easy at the one I used.

Spiral had to have been my least favourite for teacher use because I was confused the entire time while I was creating. You have to make a teacher account separate from student account but students do not need an account to play. All they need is to sign in with their google account and its created for them. Since I was confused I tried to watch videos on how to with spiral and it still didn’t help much. As a teacher, it was not very friendly I found. There is a free version which may be it’s one positive.

STUDENT USE

Polleverywhere is so cool for students use. All they need to do is enter the class and then they text their answers. The answers then show up on the screen in real time. There is also the option of using the website as well. It is the same idea where you just join the class and answer on the computer. This is completely anonymous as there is no student login. It’s pretty much a different way of putting your hands up in class.

When students use Kahoot they don’t need to login either. They simply enter the class code when it appears on the screen and they are good to go. The codes are fairly simple and once the students enter, they create a name for themselves and their name pops up on the screen. Allowing the students to make up their own names can be risky, but there is the option to delete players if they make an inappropriate name. There is the option to play on a handheld or the desktop. For some aspects, it is easier to use the computer and others it’s better to be on the phone. Giving the option to use either would be best.

Spiral uses the same sign up as Kahoot where the students can enter their own name, but it also has the option of google signup as well. There is a code to enter the class and once they put in the code the slides from the teacher show up and they can answer. The student use of Spiral is way easier than the teacher use, which makes me sad that it is so hard to make. Maybe if I spent more time it would get easier, but after the hour that I spent the first time I don’t think I’d have the patience.

FLEXIBILITY/VARIETY OF QUESTIONS

Poll Everywhere has 7 different question-making choices. No, that was not a typo! 7 ways to create your questions is one of the top reasons I loved Poll Everywhere. The 7 include multiple choice, word cloud, q & a, rank order, clickable image, survey and open ended question. I only used the multiple choice and open ended question, but in class we were shown the other choices and I think they would be super easy to create as well. The students do not need to be in the same location to answer which means it can be used as homework, but I think being able to see the live answers is really cool so I would more so want the kids in the class while using it.

As I said earlier Kahoot has a variety of question types. I didn’t get a chance to make my own in each of the different types, but was shown how to in class and it seemed quite simple. There is a 95 character count for the questions which was more than enough to fit in a well-worded question I thought. There is a minimum of 2 answers and max of 4 when it comes to answering the question. Students must be in same location to play this game as their screen only shows the questions and the answers appear on the board. Kahoot gets the competitive side of students!

Creating questions for Spiral was ridiculously hard. It didn’t really show you how your questions would be laid out so it took more time than I would want to spend. Spiral asks for pictures when you make the questions which I enjoyed because without them, the site is very boring. Students do not have to be in the same location, but again if I were to ever use this, I would want students in the class so they can see the answers on the board. When I was creating the questions, it let me set a timer for how long the students have to answer, but it didn’t work and wouldn’t save when I made changes. Yet another disappointing aspect of Spiral.

DIAGNOSTIC/FEEDBACK

Poll Everywhere has a separate view for teacher as they can control if students are allowed to answer or not. In class, activating the poll was one  of the downfalls that I saw. It’s not costly with time, but more so annoyingness of it all. If the teacher forgets to activate the poll, students can’t answer and won’t be able to join the class. There is real time diagnostic, which is a huge part of why I love Poll Everywhere. The students being able to see the answers on the board of their classmates would make it more interesting when being quizzed.

Kahoot! has a view for teacher in some aspects. The students view is only 4 different shapes with colours. The questions appear on the board and the answers are written in the different shapes. This was one aspect that made the student use a little hard. Well I wouldn’t say hard but more like annoying because I couldn’t figure out what shape went with what answer. It doesn’t show what students are getting the question’s right or wrong, so it would be more used as a review game. The players can see who is winning after each question is answered. Once you answer, it will tell you if you answered correctly or not.

Spiral has a separate view for teacher’s as the students answer, their responses come up on the screen. If the teacher does not like the answer or would like to have the student put more thought into the answer, there is the option to send it back. I liked this, but when using as a teacher I wouldn’t want the students to see me sending answers back. If there is an answer that was correct or if it stood out to the others, there is an option from the teacher view to “star” it. When looking at all responses, it can be narrowed down to just show the starred answers. You can also hide students names or let them be seen, it all depends on what you are using it for.

WRAP UP

I really quite enjoyed being able to see the teacher side of these systems and am super excited to have them in my back pocket for future use! The systems that I would actually use in my classroom would be Padlet, Kahoot! and Poll Everywhere. These systems were my favorite because they involve the students so much and when I had the chance to play them, I was much more excited to be doing a quiz than I would have been on paper. Poll Everywhere was really awesome because it can be used in different environments. I have had the chance to use it as a student while making presentations and it put a nice spin on getting my audience involved. Padlet was one of my favourites because it let’s the creativity of students shine. There can be so many uses for it beyond answering quiz questions that really opens up doors for where it can be used. From the student side of things, Padlet was fun to create and I loved being able to have easy access to see other students work as well. The collaborative aspect of it all was super cool and was a main reason it made my top 3.

All in all, being shown these different systems makes me even MORE excited for my future as a teacher (if that’s even possible) and I’m thankful that I am able to use technology in such a fun way!

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