I presented recently at an educational technology conference where sales reps peddling expensive and flashy Clickers happened to be just down the hallway from my presentation. I began my talk with a few polls I had created on Polleverywhere.com that allowed audience members to text in their responses to some “get to know the audience” questions via cell phone, iPad, or laptop. One of my audience members nodded his head, knowingly, and said, “This does exactly what those clickers down the hallway do, only with none of the cost.”
First of all, why conduct statistical sampling in the first place? As teachers, statistical sampling can offer us invaluable insight into the effectiveness of our lesson. For students, it can also be an instant engagement tool. You can begin your class with a series of multiple choice questions, free-response questions or (for language learning) sentence scrambles, etc. in order to assess what your students already know, then clear those answers from your polls and end the class after your lesson with the very same questions. Clearly, if there is no quantitative/qualitative improvement in your students’ responses by the end of class, your lesson plan did not lend itself to improved learning outcomes and needs rethinking. You know that further scaffolding is in order.
A good many of you reading this post probably know about Polleverywhere.com, and, if you don’t know about it, I would encourage you to watch a few of the tutorials available on YouTube.com (what a gold mine YouTube is!). What a number of those tutorials don’t cover is the PollEv Presenter App, available for download on the polleverywhere.com site. This Presenter App is particularly effective in one-to-one tablet or laptop learning environments, for the following reasons:
- students simply need to be at one Web site (which you will create when you set up your Polleverywhere.com account) throughout your presentation;
- students do not have to enter any text numbers and simply either type in for free-response style questions or click on their answer for multiple choice questions;
- you can quickly and easily push out polls to all audience members and transition more effectively from one question to the next (Note the “Push to PollEv Page” in the images below – this is the feature that allows you to push the polls out to your students/audience).
I hope that the following series of images are self explanatory, but please feel free to contact me with any clarifying questions. Happy statistical sampling!