A few weeks ago, I had the chance to participate in a very interesting ESL teacher conference called SPEAQ Campus, which took place at Laval University. In this conference, I had the chance to meet teachers with different and very interesting ideas. One of the seminar was: “An old story made new”. In this seminar, the teachers introduced us to online material they were using and one of them caught my attention: Socrative.
What is Socrative?
Socrative is a student response system created by the teacher in order to engage the students with educational interactive games and exercises. On Socrative, there is a large variety of exercises students can do: quizzes, games, start tickets, exit tickets, and more. The good thing about Socrative is that it can be used on any devices from Laptops to smartphones and Ipads. (http://msfhamiltontechinclass.weebly.com/socrative.html)
Why use Socrative?
Socrative is a very simple and smart way to engage the students and either have their opinion and then discuss a certain subject or simply evaluate them on something they have already seen. With Socrative, you can receive by email the answers of the students with the percentage and all the necessary information. You can evaluate them with multiple choice questions, True/False questions, short answers, etc. It is a quick way to have the students opinions or to see if they understood a certain content you taught them. Plus, it is very simple to use and to install on any device.
Also, since we are in a technological era, Socrative is a very good way to engage the students in learning through technology and show them all the possibilities technology gives them related to their education. Another good thing about using technology is that they have access to it everywhere, and quickly. Students will probably be more willing to do a quiz on internet rather than going in their school back pack, trying to find the sheet you gave them, realising that they forgot it at school and then probably forget about it. It might not always be the case, but you get my point, it’s easier online.
What kinds of activity to do?
Sometimes, it can get a bit boring for the students to always do the same kinds of activity. This is why Socrative gives a large variety of possible activities. You can do simple quizzes, or multiple choice activities, but there are more complex activities you can do with Socrative. For example, the teachers I met at SPEAQ Campus had a great idea. Basically, before the academy awards, they had their students watch videos of the nominations and vote for who they thought would win. Then, students had conversations about why they thought that, positive points, negative points, etc. Also, the teachers mentioned using Start tickets simply to know how the students are doing and have them write a short paragraph, and Exit tickets to know what the students thought about the activity. As you can see, you can use Socrative for any competencies (Interact orally, write texts and reinvest understanding).
Another activity you can do in class with all the students is a space race. How this works is that students take a quiz on their own devices in class, and, on the board, you can see space ships going forward depending of how many answer were good. The team with the most good answers wins the race. This game makes the students participates and want to have the right answers to win, which is good to review content and see if the students understood well. In this youtube video, there is a short tutorial on how to use Socrative, and at the end, the speaker does a demonstration of a space race with his classroom.
I believe that Socrative is a good tool to use in class, but it’s important to remember that sometimes to much of something makes it boring. However, a good use of Socrative in class will be interesting as much for the students than the teacher. I gave it a try and created a multiple choice activity in about 10 minutes, it’s that simple! I also think it’s a good way for teacher to save a bit of time on correction, considering it does the correction for you and sends you a report. Finally, as a future teacher, I believe I will use Socrative in order to bring discussion between students and to see how well the content I taught was understood.