Tuesday, August 27, 2013

a question from the shy kid in the back

Wow....what a summer!  Or should I say what a spring AND summer since I haven't been on here since February.  But, I am asking my students to keep blogs this semester, and like a good educator I model for my students, so I will be blogging regularly once again.

As we go back to school one of the things I always think about is how I can get everyone to partake in the conversation.  I know there are students who don't like to speak, therefore they may never ask a question for clarification, they may never give their input, though input from everyone is valuable.

A while back one of my Writing for Non-Print Media students shared poll-everywhere with the class.
The idea is simple.  The instructor posts a question, and students are able to respond by texting to a number that appears on the screen. The name "poll-everywhere" is actually a bit misleading, as you can also post open-ended questions.  I've made a sample poll for my readers to take.

Clearly there are concerns about having cell phones in the classroom, but I really don't think this is going to hurt anyone.  We live in an age where we are consumed in technology, media and methods of communication....so why not be proactive? 

I will be using this tomorrow in my College Writing class, in hopes that I can engage students and encourage them to respond to the reading.  I really like that they can do this anonymously, because many times students have told me "I was afraid my question or comment would sound dumb."  Poll-everywhere gives all students an equal voice.  And if they don't have cell phones, I would encourage a small group, where they take turns texting. It's my hope that using poll-everywhere is just the beginning for some students, and that they learn that their voice is very important in the classroom.