Student response systems have been making a big splash in classrooms around the nation for a while. As you know, they provide teachers instant feedback on learning gains and student retention of material. But the reports also provide students with the opportunity to know how well they are retaining material and the concepts being taught.
While many companies offer these devices to use with whiteboards or LCD projectors, the price can be a bit discouraging. Make way for the app Socrative. It is a FREE application that allows educators to create quizzes for use not only with laptops, but also smart phones and tablets.
This student response system helps teachers to create engaging alternatives to paper and pencil assessments and generates reports in the form of an Excel file or an online Google spreadsheet. Additionally, you can offer students the opportunity to respond to exit tickets, another great way to assess students’ understanding of the material being taught.
The primary advantage to utilizing a student response system such as Socrative is that the data is provided in real time. No calculating or grading, reserving more time for differentiating material and pushing concepts deeper, or providing more time for planning remediation. My students adore the lessons in which I incorporate this method of assessment. For our digital natives, this is a smarter way to work.
For more on using student response systems in the classroom, see Jeremy Rinkel's post "Four Reasons I Enjoy Using Student Response Systems for Vocabulary Building" and "Technology Roll Call" by Megan Power.