Socrative Upgrade – Weekend of July 12th!

2.0 Live Results 2

On Saturday July 12th, all Socrative accounts will be updated to our amazing Socrative 2.0. It will be a seamless changeover of all your quizzes, reports, credentials and apps.  We are so excited to have everyone enjoying Socrative 2.0 for the 2014/2015 school year. As promised, Socrative will continue to be a free  tool to support all your in class formative assessment needs.

2.0 Support Materials

Migration FAQ – All your upgrade questions answered

User Guide – Download, email, print and share

How-to Videos – Watch and learn on your own time

support@socrative.com – We love to hear from you!

New Interface, Same Reliability and Ease of Use

We’ve worked hard to make 2.0 totally intuitive to use, and have added many features that you’ve been asking for:

  • Student Navigation within Quizzes
  • Google Drive Integrations
  • Common Core Tagging
  • Individual Student Reports
  • Printable Quizzes
  • Real-Time Results Views
  • …and much more!

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4 Interactive Tips to Jumpstart Summer School

Learning Road Sign

Summer school is its own entity all together!  

In addition, this may be your first summer with a tech enriched classroom…or it could be if you try some Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) Lessons.

Here are some ideas for using Socrative and Tech in your Lessons

Icebreakers

Introduce the students to each other and their technology.

Prepare fun Multiple Choice and True False questions for the board, Powerpoint.

In the weightlessness of space, if a frozen pea touches Pepsi it will explode?

True
False
Read more

Sharalike – Capture and Share Classroom Moments

It’s nearly summer and now is the perfect time to capture those final moments of your school year: field trips, student presentations, field days, recitals etc.

Our friends at Sharalike have built an awesome fee photo sharing app! They’re the next generation of online slideshow creation – designed as a free, fun and simple way to make sure no memory is forgotten.

Check out this sample SmartShow

What’s their recipe? 

A heaping teaspoon of time savings – instantly upload your pictures to sharalike from any device or computer (don’t organize them in advance, sharalike will help you).

A few handfuls of organizational genius – sharalike automatically groups and chooses the best of all of your shots

And a pinch of fun…voila – simply press the button ‘smartshow’, and in seconds you have your own personalized slideshow to share. 

Share with Students and Families

Now share that with your students and families and enjoyment (not to mention a bunch of compliments!) is guaranteed for all!

Have a broad audience to share with? Smartshows are created to be easily shared via email and social media, and what’s more, viewers are able to save individual pictures that they like from the show.

Sign up for your free account today, and enjoy your the end of the year! Take lots of pictures and they’ll do the rest (while you get some much deserved rest!)

 

 

4 Fun and Reflective Activities to End the School Year!

The end of the school year is filled with mixed emotions: excitement for the impending freedom of summer, and sadness about the culmination of a great class and a great year. Use these final school days to connect with your classroom in fresh ways, and reflect on the school year behind you in order to better prepare for the next one.

Fun end of the year activities can enhance the bond within your class, as well as energize and refocus your students during their last days in the classroom.

ACTIVITY: Use Socrative’s True/False feature to see how many of your students will be doing certain summer activities. Show them the results and they can discuss or elaborate on their plans. Examples:

        • Going swimming
        • Going to camp
        • Going on vacation
        • Playing sports
        • Eating ice cream
        • Making lemonade

ACTIVITY: Plan to be flexible during one part of your school day. Use Socrative’s Short Answer feature to have students give ideas of activities to do during that time, or use Multiple Choice Polling to have students vote on which pre-planned activity they want to do. Giving them a say in their schedule can help keep students positive and interested during the school day.

 

This time of year is ripe for teachers to reflect on their best, and maybe not so good, teaching practices, in order to make the coming year better than ever. This time is ideal because you still have your best critics at your fingertips: your students. Here are some ways you can get helpful feedback from your students using Socrative. In order to avoid unhelpful or silly answers, be sure to remind them that you want their honest (and anonymous) feedback to help you improve.

ACTIVITY: Give this Shared Quiz to gain valuable open-ended feedback from your students:

SOC-7380252 The questions included are:

1. Name 3 things that helped you learn this year.

2. Name 3 things that made it hard for you to learn this year.

3. What was the most challenging thing we did this year?

4. What was your favorite moment from our class?

To review how to import a shared quiz, visit this blog post.

ACTIVITY: Ask for more specific feedback. If there is a unit you want to modify or shorten, use Socrative’s Multiple Choice feature to ask your class’ opinion. An example of this could be:

Which activity taught you the most (or least) about volcanoes:

    1. Creating a diagram
    2. Watching the news story
    3. Writing the report
    4. The reading and discussion activity

Here at Socrative we want to wish you a happy summer and say a big THANK YOU for using us in your classroom this year. We are constantly working to improve Socrative so keep checking our blog for updates on new features!

Teaching Summer School? Check back for our next blog post!

A Second Language Learning Activity

Whether you’re teaching Spanish, French, English, Latin, German, Dutch, Portuguese or Mandarin; student application is always a focus.  Socrative is here to help facilitate the practice and understanding of grammar, vocabulary, sentence structure, and more.

Here’s one great example from Mr. Morrison.  He uses Socrative in his Spanish class for students to share their sentences focused on new nouns, adjectives, verbs, articles and colloquialisms.

Using Socrative Short Answer:

Mr. Morrison types in a new vocabulary word or verb.

Students then type their own unique sentence into Socrative.

Next, Mr. Morrison projects all the answers on the board and the collaboration begins.

1. Have students read another students sentence out loud.  

2. Ask students to orally respond to a classmate’s sentence 

3. Have students pair up and analyze the sentences.

4. Ask student to vote on their favorite sentence.  Discuss why students made their choice.

Mr. Morrison’s class is working on speaking, writing, translation, and vocabulary skills all at the same time!

*remember student responses will project anonymously so you can discuss the content and not the creator.  But you will get a detailed report at then with each students name and their sentence!

Students as Questioners – Bloom’s Taxonomy

“An educated person today is someone who knows the right question to ask.”

Recently, I’ve been repeating this Ernest Boyer quote to myself.  It encapsulates so much in so few words. Many Socrative posts have focused on how teachers can foster discussions and help facilitate problem based thinking, inquiry and the surfacing of main ideas. Consequently, through modeling and drawing student attention to your questions, they are aware of how and why you are asking particular questions.

It’s time to pass the baton to the students and develop their abilities to ask the high quality questions.

Let’s call on our friend Benjamin Bloom for support.  

Bloom’s revised taxonomy is a great asset for making explicit your motivations behind classroom activities, assignments and discussion starters.  Furthermore, it helps build a common language and structure within your classroom.  As history has shown, this well-known, widely applied scheme filled a void and provided educators with one of the first systematic classifications of the processes of thinking and learning. The cumulative hierarchical framework consisting of six categories each requiring achievement of the prior skill or ability before the next, more complex one, remains easy to understand.

Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy

Remembering Retrieving, recognizing, reproducing and recalling relevant knowledge from long-term memory
Understanding Constructing meaning from oral, written, and graphic messages through interpreting, exemplifying, classifying, summarizing, inferring, comparing, and explaining
Applying Carrying out or using a procedure through executing or implementing
Analyzing Breaking material into constituent parts, determining how the parts relate to one another and to an overall structure or purpose through differentiating, organizing, and attributing
Evaluating Marking judgments based on criteria and standards through checking and critiquing
Creating Putting elements together to form a coherent or functional whole; reorganizing elements into a new pattern or structure through generating, planning, or producing

Read more

3 Activities for Peer Collaboration

Quick Question – Short Answer  

With a few quick clicks, you 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!

1. Peer editing

Peer collaboration is increasingly emphasized as an essential skill in the 21st century and simply makes a classroom more effective.  

Ask your students to share their work, such as a thesis statement. Project all their anonymous responses and then discuss as a class or discuss as pairs 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 colleague’s ideas.  

2. Brainstorming

Asking students to brainstorm compels self-directed thought. With Socrative Short-Answer, you can brainstorm just about anything- from project ideas to essays, field trips to class rewards.  Then use our VOTE option to rank them in order.

3. Presentation Feedback

Whether your students are presenting their findings from a science experiment, performing a musical solo, or reciting a poem, using short answer is a great way to gather feedback in the moment. Once the presentation has concluded, projecting the feedback on the board allows the class to talk about the strengths and weaknesses of the presentation. This allows students to document feedback at specific moments and minimizes the probability a student will forget their ideas allowing for more fluid presentations and more informative feedback.  You can print our the feedback for the student or send them a digital copy.

The Ladder of Feedback can be a great way to organize the feedback process.

The idea or plan is presented to the group. Then the group moves through the following steps (moving from one rung of the ladder to the next):

Step 1: Clarify
Ask clarifying questions to be sure you understand the idea or matter on the table. Avoid clarifying questions that are thinly disguised criticism.

Step 2: Value
Express what you like about the idea or matter at hand in specific terms. Do not offer perfunctory “good, but,” and hurry on to the negatives.

Step 3: State concerns
State your puzzles and concerns. Avoid absolutes: “What’s wrong is . . .” Use qualified terms: “I wonder if . . .” “It seems to me . . .” Avoid criticizing personal character or ability and focus on ideas, products, or particular aspects.

Step 4: Suggest
Make suggestions about how to improve things. This step is sometimes blended with step 3: people state concerns and then offer suggestions for addressing them. There is no set time limit for this process: It can be done in a few minutes or over the course of an hour.

 

How Socrative Quick Question – Short Answer Works:

1. From your Teacher Dashboard select “Quick Question”

2. Select the “Short Answer” on the right

3. Type a Question into the text field (optional)

4. Choose whether you would like a SINGLE or UNLIMITED responses from your Ss

5. Choose whether you would like students to be ANONYMOUS or REQUIRE their name. Either way, all responses initially display on your screen anonymously.  

6. Select start!

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2.0 User Guide and Video

 

 

3 Engaging Uses of Open Response

One of our favorite features is Quick Question – Short Answer.  With a few quick clicks, you 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!  

1. Gather Student Questions:

As students settle into their seats have them enter a question based on last night’s homework or your current unit.  You can quickly clear up any misunderstanding before moving on to that day’s agenda. By enabling each student to respond, you can see common questions that are applicable to a larger number of students. Use the VOTE feature to have them prioritize what you answer!

Remember – student questions project anonymously, but you can have a report afterward which tells who said what.  Overall, students are less fearful of asking a question anonymously.

This is also a great tool to use at the end of class. As students start to pack up, open a short answer to gather any points of confusion to incorporate into your plan for the next day, or ask a question based on that day’s content to see what your students have learned!

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2. Vocabulary

In every class, there are key vocabulary items that students need to master. Pose a vocabulary word in short answer and ask students to use that word in a sentence, or respond with the definition.

3. Foreign Language

There are multiple ways to allow students to show their understanding in a second language classroom.

- Present students with a sentence and ask them to translate

- Present students with a sentence and ask them to write a follow-on sentence

- Have students use a key vocabulary term in a sentence (verbs, nouns, adjectives etc.)

 

How Quick Question – Short Answer Works:

1. From your Teacher Dashboard select “Quick Question”

2. Select the “Short Answer” on the right

3. Type a Question into the text field (optional)

4. Choose whether you would like a SINGLE or UNLIMITED responses from your Students

5. Choose whether you would like students to be ANONYMOUS or REQUIRE their name. (Either way, all responses initially display on your screen anonymously)  

6. Select start!

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2.0 User Guide and Overview

 

 

New!!! Socrative by Mail – (April Fools)

stickers
Missing that personal touch? Feeling nostalgic for snail mail? Toss all your quizzes into a manilla envelope, slap on a stamp, and mail them to us! Each quiz will be hand graded by our founder, Ben Berté, and returned to you within 4-6 weeks (weather permitting). 
 
In-feature purchases:
 
For $1.99 add fun stickers to your graded quizzes!
Choose from these engaging options:
     - smiley faces
     - kittens
     - sea creatures
     - sports

 

For $0.99 choose the pen color!
     - classic “You Failed” red
     - deep purple
     - sky blue
     - forest green
     - “I can’t even read this” yellow

Learn about other Socrative Innovations 

Thinking Globally and Acting Locally – Join Us

This weekend I have the pleasure to take part in the Global Education and Skills Forum, https://educationandskillsforum.org.  Please visit the site to learn more about the diverse thinkers, world leaders and most importantly the initiatives being discussed at this global event.  You can also take part as a viewer of the streamed events or engage via twitter and social media to have your questions and point of view heard. It is an opportunity to unite world citizens, you included, in pursuit of educational solutions for hundreds of millions of learners worldwide.

Since Socrative’s founding in 2011 we have strived to provide an intuitive technology tool that engages students, visualizes classroom thinking and welcomes all student voices in the efforts of moving whole class learning forward.  To maximize impact, we recognize the importance of reducing barriers to usage.  Thus Socrative has always been accessible on all browsers and offers apps for iOS, Windows and Android.  This allows for all web-enabled devices to engage whether in a Bring Your own Device environment, a full 1-to-1 initiative or an informal learning scenario.  Moreover, the simplicity of starting with Socrative, less than 5 minutes, is key to teachers utilizing a new technology in their classrooms without hours of pre-investment that often block even the best of intentions.  Next, we believe in fostering a safe environment for sharing ideas.  As a result student inputs to Socrative should be presented to the class anonymously to make the discussion about the “what” and not the “who”.  These core beliefs have helped with access, equity and safety while using technology.

On Sunday, I’ll be involved in a panel discussion, Leveraging mobile technology, social media and gaming to improve education. It is a great honor to share my view on education and our philosophy on connecting through technology.  We currently have over 1.2 million teachers and students actively using Socrative every month in over 150 countries.  I look forward to learning how we can improve our solution to support even more students in more locations.  My personal challenge is to find dissonance with my own thinking in efforts of expanding the lens in which I view education.

Join Us!

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