Last January, Zack and I attended the FETC conference. There we were able to gather lots of ideas and brainstorm ways we can better serve the teachers in East Noble School Corporation, as well as any teacher that happen to pass on through while on the internet. One of the things we found humorous was that many vendors at the conference were pushing clicker systems. Sure clicker systems are great, but my question was why invest the money in a clicker system when you can have a class set of iPods, iPads, or computers (which do much more) and use Socrative? The only reason I could think of is that clicker systems are cheaper, but you are also very limited by them.
Socrative is an awesome way to get students to become engaged in a class discussion because it gives them a voice. You can pose an open-ended question or create a quiz for students to respond. (Students especially love open-ended questions.) Think about being in the midst of your read aloud, and you throw a question out there. The students could type a response, have it pop up on the screen, and then students can even vote for which answer they think is best.
Socrative also allows you to save and share quizzes! You have the option to save a multiple choice or open response quiz to their site, receive a code, and give that code to your colleagues for sharing. This allows you to quickly gather data within you and your colleagues. Those quizzes will also be waiting in your account for future use.
Socrative even provides reports in Excel spreadsheets. If you mark your multiple choice quizzes with correct answers, it will even grade them for you by color coding correct answers in green. These reports are available for download anytime from the app as well as their website.
Lastly, Socrative is available on all platforms. You can have a mix of devices all connecting to the teacher device. Students can log into it by using the iPod/iPad app, or going to www.socrative.com and clicking on the student login button. This is handy because I found a little problem with using the app a few weeks ago in a fourth grade class. As it turns out, my version of the app was different than the student's. For whatever reason, this caused the students to not be able to receive my questions when I launched them. If I had them go to the website to login, they would have had the latest version and had no issues connecting. So if you are using an iOS device, it might be better for your students to create a home screen button to www.socrative.com instead of the app. It will function exactly the same way.
Originally, I had created a video tutorial, but I had come across this one on Youtube. Since this lady has a much better voice than my Midwestern accent, I decided to use hers instead. :)