socrativeThe tendency for many teachers is to ask students to put their cellphones away during class, or worse, turn them off. One less distraction to get in the way of all that learning taking place, right? But are cellphones really a distraction? Or are they a sign that maybe the course is boring? Viewing cute cat photos on Facebook has got to be more exciting than a 50 minute lecture on conjugating verbs. Okay, I’m kidding. No one lectures for 50 minutes any more, right? With all that active learning going on in class, who has time for lecture? One tool that many professors are turning to to help with active learning in the classroom is the much improved Socrative 2.0. We did a workshop with Socrative two years ago. Socrative lets teachers engage and assess their students with activities on their smartphones or tablets during class.

So what’s the best way to use the new Socrative? Engage students with a Quick Question – Short Answer. Professors can use short answer to ask a question, then gather, visualize and discuss a whole class’ open responses. You could even have students vote on the responses. You can’t do that with clickers.

Peer editing is another good use of Socrative for engaging students in the classroom. Have students share their thesis statements using Socrative. Then project all their anonymous responses on the screen. Then discuss as a class and then provide the constructive feedback to guide that student’s thinking in new directions.  Making the work public motivates students to take extra care and also allows them a rare opportunity to see their peer’s ideas.

Check out the Socrative Garden for more good uses for Socrative in the classroom. And watch the video below to see a quick overview of Socrative.

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