I’ve been looking for an app that would enable me to engage my class during the tedious period of GCSE revision. I am quite lucky, in that my pupils are allowed to use phones and other devices during lessons (if they have the teachers permission) and that almost all of them have a smart device of one sort or another. So I wanted a way of utilising this technology during lesson time.
I was told of an app called Socrative which lets you set up a virtual room which your pupils can then log into. You can either operate it through their website, or if you have an iPad they also have a dedicated app.
I trialled this with my Yr 11’s during a revision session on the mechanical properties of materials. I was impressed by how engaged (and competitive) 11 16yr old boys became, as they raced to see who could get the highest score the fastest. They were also impressed with the app, it was stable on their phones / laptops / iPod etc. The only downside was the boys using Blackberry phones found it very difficult to use.
So how does it work?
When you log into the app you have this home screen:
From here you can easily write and edit quizzes. You can see how many pupils have logged into your virtual room and you can very easily kick them out (when they forget to log out at the end of the lesson).
When you are running a quiz you can choose to have live results, which is useful if all your questions are multiple choice. And at the end of the quiz you can have a detailed report emailed to you, which shows exactly what answer each pupil gave. If you have any written answers it shows you what they have written in the report.
Pupils access your Socrative room through either a webpage (m.socrative.com) or if they have an iPhone or iPad, they can download the Socrative Pupil app. They both look exactly the same.
The pupils first have to input your room number, you are assigned a random number but you can change it. I changed mine to the school exam centre number, as all my boys could remember it easily.
They are given a holding screen, while you wait for everyone to have logged in.
You can choose to run the quiz at the students pace, or you can send the question individually. After pupil have logged in with their name (which loads on your home screen as they do it), they are then presented with the questions one at a time.
Pupils are given instant feedback for each multiple choice question.
The app was stable, it didn’t crash at all.
Pupils could access it on smart devices, or class computers. They only needed access to the Internet.
The email report allowed me to see where pupils were struggling, and also save it for future reference.
You can share your quizzes with other teachers by giving them the ‘Soc code’ that is assigned to your quiz when you write it, very useful for departmental use.
You couldn’t have any pictures in the questions, quite frustrating for a subject that is very image heavy.
(On another note, see how much better this post is, now I’m using Blogsy!)