Sunday, 20 January 2013

Socrative

Last week, just before the school day started, I was setting up my lessons for the day and getting all of my resources printed off and cut up etc when my HoF came into the room to ask to borrow one of my Year 9 books to show my topic trackers in the subject leaders meeting. After we spoke about these and how I use them he happened to notice one of the resources I was planning to use that day - the DfE Standards Unit S2 resource on evaluating probability statements. Having recently taught the same lesson to his year 8 class he suggested that I use the socrative resource he had used and set up for his class.

Now, at this point I hadn't used or heard of socrative before and so he explained what it was and how it worked to me in the 10 mins before the bell was due to ring. The website www.socrative.com is a site where teachers can set up quizzes for their students to answer in class using their mobile devices. The resource by HoF had set up was the S2 Standards Unit lesson. There were 11 questions all exactly the same as those in the resource and all required students to answer true or false to the statements (there was also 1 question asking for their name). How socrative works is once you have an account (free to sign up) you get a 'room number'. When students access the site on their mobiles, by going to m.socrative.com they are asked to type in the 'room number'. This then goes to the teachers live quizzes once set from the teacher account. At this point the teacher is able to see all results live as they are completed by the students. So, after my brief tutorial, my HoF very kindly allowed me access to his quiz by sharing it to my account and my lesson was ready to go.

In the lesson, the socrative quiz worked really well. I had the website up on the board where I was logged in and the live results were appearing on screen as the students were doing the quiz and entering their true or false answers to the statements they were given. The added bonus of this is that I was able to see who was getting them right/wrong and the 'room number' was displayed clearly for students to see. As I hadn't prepared students for the task they were excited about being able to use their mobile devices and were highly engaged in the task. However, as they weren't told about the task prior to the lesson not every student had access to a mobile device that could access the Internet. This, would probably be the case anyway even had I told the students they would be using their devices next lesson so, how I got around it was by asking students to, once they had completed the quiz themselves to share their devices with their partners or other students that didn't have one with them. Most of the students obliged and it wasn't long before all students had completed the task.
We had a few problems with some devices not being able to connect to the Internet or not being able to load up the socrative page, but all students managed to complete the quiz eventually.
Once all students had completed the task the results were there to see on the board, with all the students names and their scores out of 10 on the board. This created a healthy bit of competition across the class as they attempted to get the highest score in the class, or higher than their friends' scores.

After all students had entered their results I then fed back to the class the answers by entering my results on the IWB just as they had done on their mobile devices. I went through each statement and discussed with the students any misconceptions that they may have had on the questions before choosing the correct answer and going to the next question. It was interesting to see which questions caused the most misconceptions with the class and those that caused little confusion.

What I liked about socrative is that when I closed the quiz it then gave me an option to receive an e-mailed report of the class' results - this for future reference was great to have to hand.

I will definitely use the socrative website in the future with students as I feel the kids really bought into it, they were excited about using their mobiles, they were using their mobiles in a productive learning environment, we were able to get instant feedback of their results and analyse these together addressing misconceptions the students may have had and it was really easy to use given that it only took me and my HoF 10 mins to set up an account with me and 'train' me how to use it!

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