http:/polleverywhere.com is simple platform for assessing the students’ learning and gauging the current climate and the next steps of the teaching-learning cycle. Traditional pencil to paper tasks are still tools in the toolbox (as I like to say) but there are other tools available. Paper assessment needs to be completed manually by the teacher and takes time to complete. As a secondary teacher, with three busy classes, grading and returning these assessments could take a day or two (or three). We all have the best intentions at heart but life and other responsibilities always rear their heads and can prevent the return of essential feedback to the students in a timely fashion. The use of technology can help to provide real time feedback at the point of instruction when the learning is new and fresh. This can provide the students with immediate feedback on where they need to focus for their next steps (perfect for promoting autonomous, self-directed learning) and for the teacher to adjust and adapt to meet the needs of the students at just the right time.
Today, teaching tools are plentiful but teaching must be adapted to get the optimal benefit of the tools. Simply bringing in a new tool to teach alone does not necessarily make your teaching better. Liz Kolb talks about cellphones and learning in-depth in her new book, Toys to Tools: Connecting Student Cell Phones to Education. In it, among other things, Liz shares the cutting edge use of Poll Everywhere used for student learning. At Poll Everywhere, we realize a product by itself is more effective when combined with specific objectives when used in the classroom. If you’re a teacher, consider the following objectives and why you might use Poll Everywhere’s classroom response system: Encourage less-confident students to be more willing to participate in class Poll Everywhere gives students a chance to respond anonymously (or non-anonymously if desired) so they can feel more comfortable about answering questions in class. (http://blog.polleverywhere.com/teach-motivate-and-measure-students-learning-0)