Product Index
Teacher Needs
In Summit Reflections, educators review tools that they have seen at an EdSurge Tech for Schools Summit. Summit Reflections can only be completed onsite at the event; reviewers are incentivized to leave reviews.
Music Teacher, School Type: Elementary School, 1:1 Devices, Blended Learning
Feb 21, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: Socrative is a product that gives teachers the ability to ask questions and get feedback from each student almost immediately. Questions such as T/F, multiple choices, and others give teachers an opportunity to quick assess during a lesson to check for understanding, or pose an "exit ticket" at the end of the lesson as a short formative assessment. Instead of teachers being tasked with making sure they see hear from each student during the course of non-written work, they can get a picture of each student's knowledge of the material covered regardless of whether or not the child was queried in class.

Strengths: This product eliminates the need for brandspecific devices in order for students to interface with a teacher's computer and immediately answer questions posed by the teacher. The product is cloudbased and free, which means students can access it using any device.

The company provides a database of existing quizzes and questions and a venue where teachers can share created resources in their "garden" of homemade quizzes.

Best of all, the database and garden feature arts resources in addition to traditional academic courses so educators of all persuasions can benefit from a free account with Socrative.

Results of the teacher's query can be displayed live in the classroom to facilitate student discussion.

Results can also be displayed in an Excel file, which I assume would be printable for record keeping.

The product is compatible with a wide variety of platforms.

Some features of the product, such as multiple choice questions, are autograded.

The website feature such support materials as use guides and tutorials.

Suggestions for Improvement: I am having difficulty identifying weaknesses in this product.

I am disappointed that I cannot view samples of the quiz templates without creating an account, which I have not done since my time is limited.

I would like to know what kinds of design resources are available in this product so I can know how specific I can make my quizzes and exit tickets, as opposed to mere "what did you learn today?" templates.

I would like to know whether or not resources created in the Microsoft Office Suite can be opened with the this resources, or at least imported.

Verdict: This product functions like Activ Votes or Activ Expressions, and similar Mimio products, but requires no extra equipment purchase. In the past, teacher's ability to get instant comprehension feedback from all students was limited to the number of sets of devices owned by a school and the availability of those devices on any given day. Now, with this cloud-based product, students can respond to teachers using whatever devices they or the school already have: laptops, tablets, smartphones, etc. Best of all, the product is absolutely free to teachers.

Feb 21, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: This is an excellent tool to get a pulse check on what students think about a topic or to test their prior knowledge at the beginning of a lesson. I like the fact that everyone can answer the question instead of calling on just one student when you ask a question. This provides a better sense of understanding and provides more engagement.

Socrative can also be used as an exit ticket or even as a formal test.

Strengths: Being able to receive a report on how the students did in an excel file is very useful.

I like the fact that I can choose different types of questions (multiple choice and free response). This allows me to use the product for quick question or deeper dives.

The product also has different features such as the space race that make the quizzing of information more engaging for the students.

Suggestions for Improvement: 1) Audio. I do not see anything where students can have the questions read aloud. This would be useful for students who receive accommodations.

2) Translation features. As we begin to teach more and more students whose first language is something other than English, having a translation feature would be helpful. I would want to be able to turn it on and off so that I could determine whether or not to include translation as an option based on what would provide the best learning opportunity for the student.

3) Having a setting which allows the test to run when I am not actively using my computer. This would allow me to provide the students with a timeframe to use Socrative as a homework assignment and not have to worry about whether I have turned on the test.

Verdict: Student engagement is one of the best reasons for advocating. We want all to know what ALL of the students are thinking and understanding not just the one student we can call on in class if we were to ask questions orally. Socrative allows us to ask a question and get EVERYONE's answer.

Students can also get immediate feedback if you chose to let them know if you choose to turn on the feature that provides the student with information as to whether the answer was correct or incorrect.

Students will be more likely to pay attention and focus if they know that they will be asked to respond.

Teacher, School Type: Elementary School, Low Income Population
Feb 22, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use this to gain instant feedback from students to see if I need to reteach a skill, go deeper into explanation or approach the concept in a different way every day one my school has technology for each student in hand.

Strengths: I love the immediate feedback. I can self adjust based on where my class needs to go based on that feedback. It solves me having to wait a day to grade evaluations to see who understood a concept as deeply as they needed to and waiting until the next day to pull a reteach group. I can do it that day. It also saves hitting a topic as hard as you need to if students understand and are ready to move on. I really love being able to have student data so accessible and ready to use.

Suggestions for Improvement: 1.) I would add the option to connect it to my online gradebook, so when I give a quiz, or an evaluation, not only do i know who got what correct and who I need to reteach something to, but the grade can go straight into my gradebook without the hassle of writing it down and transferring it myself.
2.) I would add the option of students being able to go and comment on each other answers. This gives them the ability to peer edit.
3.) I would add an instant chat option, so if a student was having a hard time with a problem, they could send a message to the teacher. If the teacher got enough questions about the same problem, she/he could pause and address the issue to the whole class.

Verdict: I would recommend it for instant feedback to teachers. You can truly see who understands a concept and who does not in a way that is non obtrusive to students identities or stressful for students. You can use immediate students examples of work to critique without calling anyone out and build the platform for conversation. You get immediate feedback and can self adjust based on that direct feedback as to where to move next with a lesson, who to pull for a reteach group or what to move to because you don't need to hit that skill as hard as you thought. It also seems very user friendly and has a fun layout I think kids will enjoy.

Resource Teacher, School Type: Elementary School, Middle School, High School
Feb 21, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: Socrative is a student response system (like a polling tool) that doesn't require specialty hardware. All you need is an Internet enabled device, be it a computer, tablet, or phone. A teacher registers and logs in. They create a virtual "classroom" that has a unique code. Then they can either create and save a quiz to use later, or prepare a spontaneous question to ask on the fly. Once they are prepared to ask the question or start the quiz, the students simply have to go to the website m.socrative.com, enter the classroom code, their name, and then answer the question(s). Questions can be multiple choice, true/false, or short answer. Students can even be sharing a device because after answering the question(s) they are prompted to do it again. One student can pass it on to another student who then enters their name and repeats the process. And because the student responses are tied to unique classroom codes, the teacher can monitor their responses in real time... And the data is saved and able to be exported.

Strengths: 1. It is very simple to use. I have taught a PD on Socrative in 35 minutes.

2. It doesn't require any specialty hardware or software downloads (although there is a Socrative app) so the monetary investment is minimal.

3. It allows educators to capitalize on limited devices by giving multiple students the opportunity to interact with socrative on a shared device.

4. Educators can share assessments with other educators.

Suggestions for Improvement: 1. It would be nice if it included some accessibility features like the option to read questions aloud and respond to voice dictation.

2. I would like for multiple choice answer options to include the ability to attach an image.

3. A good addition to the question options would be sorting and numeric entries (with the ability to include mathematical symbols).

Verdict: It is easy to use, requires very little investment of time, money, or resources, and provides immediate feedback/data that can be used to adjust instruction.

Library Media Specialist, School Type: Elementary School
Feb 20, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: Socrative can be used to quickly assess students' acquisition of knowledge by using the technology that they have available to them (laptops, tablets, smartphone, mp3 player with app) without the need for ordering expensive software-specific devices. Students can use it with BYOD or with 1:1 school district initiatives. Teachers can create planned or on-the-fly assessments in order to quickly see the needs of the class.

Strengths: This product is a very fast way to assess students' learning and acquisition of knowledge in the classroom. Teachers have instant access to graphs, data and other information (e.g. student response time) and they are able to adapt instruction as needed, instantly. It solves the problem of sitting for long periods of time and waiting until the next class period to see who needs to be in a reteach group; feedback is immediate. This product has a tutorial after you sign up and immediately ask the new user to test drive the app, which was pretty easy to navigate.

Suggestions for Improvement: I do not think that there is anything that I would change about this app the cost is great, the functionality and instant feedback is great.

Verdict: This is a great way to utilize technology that is already in the school building without ordering specialized technology devices that are specific to one software suite. It is a way for teachers to quickly assess students, as well as gather and analyze data on the spot.

Maggie, Professional Development Teacher. School Type: High School
Feb 21, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I use it for quick check-ins, bell work, and for formative and pre-assessments.

Strengths: 1. Engages students and motivates them to learn and display their learning

2. Cuts down on grading time for teachers by providing instant feedback

3. Organizes grades and quizzes for teachers

4. Provides multiple forms of assessments

5. Easy and convenient

Suggestions for Improvement: 1. Like poll everywhere, it may be nice if the program made a realtime graph of multiple choice answers to visualize students' thinking.

2. Make it could create a "wordle" type word cloud to again visualize student thinking for written responses.

3. Let teachers create their own code word or number for classroom # in the program for it to be more easily accessed by students.

Verdict: Socrative makes assessments fun. Students don't normally look forward to assessments, and we really haven't given them a reason to. However, with Socrative, students can use their devices (or even share one!) to make their thinking visible. Not only is it engaging to students, but it seriously cuts down on grading time for teachers and even provides instant feedback to students. You can choose from an array of assessment types even turning it into a game. It's quick, easy and fun!

Instructional Support Teacher, School Type: Elementary School, Low Income Population
Feb 21, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would this activity as part of my professional development training for teachers as another resource to use for organization, management and student engagment. Teachers would have a "paperless" way to rack student performance based on content they have chosen. We would practice in the training how to access and use the program as well as determine the benenfits. The students love using the laptop carts, this would also serve as a positive reinforcement. They could take their assessment on the computer instead of paper pencil.

Strengths: It allows for easy access by being priceless.

It solves the issue of needed paper to provide assignments (major paper shortage)

It address various learning modalities.

It provides instant data reports.

It is student/teacher accessible

It takes into account that all schools don't have access to IPADS or IPHONEs.

Suggestions for Improvement: I would add a feature in which parents could log in to access their student's scores and progress. I would add optional sound as another learning modaility.

Verdict: It is a free program. It seems pretty easy to navigate. it could be used for differentiated instruction and different learning modalities.

Technology Integration Teacher And Liaison, School Type: Elementary School
Feb 22, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use this as a way to collect quick and meaningful feedback from students during lessons, discussions, or activities. I also think that this would be a useful way to collect data and responses from teachers during professional development meetings.

Strengths: It was a free site. It was extremely easy to use. I love that there is no need for students to create accounts and that there are so many possibilities for its use. I really liked the Space Race feature as a means of allowing students to share what they know through fun and engaging competition. This solves the problem of having to purchase an entire learner response system and additional software that would require additional student and teacher training. The program can be accessed from any type of digital device so it would be ideal for a 1:1 or BYOD environment.

Suggestions for Improvement: None at this time.

Verdict: The service is free and extremely easy to use. It can be easily accessed by participants through a URL and a room code. Activities and quizzes are easy to create and can either be generated spontaneously for input or planned with questions embedded for data collection.

Instructional Technology Specialist, School Type: Elementary School, Middle School, BYOD Devices
Feb 20, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: Socrative is a student response system that does not require separate hardware, it is used student's mobile devices.

You create an account at socrative.com. It gives you a room #, it walks you through how to set up quizzes, and provides templates as well for longer quizzes. You tell the kids the room #, then you can either let them control the quiz or you can. Which is pretty cool. You get the results immediately.

Strengths: Quickly gives snapshot into student thinking by looking at the results. Allows for easy formative assessment. Seeing the results in a nice visual manner will help identify who you may need to give extra attention too.

Suggestions for Improvement: The ability to add images to the questions.

Verdict: It is simple.

It is free.

It gives instant feedback.

It is interactive.

Teacher, School Type: Middle School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population
Feb 22, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: This product is fantastic for immediate feedback of on the go assessment. Initially, I would use it for summative assessment until I became comfortable with it, and then implement it as a formative assessment tool.

Strengths: Usable with any device with internet connectivity.

It solves the need to reserve classroom responders or a lab.

Suggestions for Improvement: Make your assessment easy to share with colleagues.

Verdict: It is SUPER user friendly. Also, my county now allows students to have their mobile devices with them at all times. Rather than fighting the change, this is a great way to allow students to use their devices in the classroom in a positive way.

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