Tools to Promote Learning (#5 Socrative)

I’ve often heard the phrase “We don’t have time!” during staff development sessions where staff are encouraged to embed technology into their practice. Without wanting to get into the argument of whether this is a perfectly justified response or whether it hides a range of other issues that are not technology related per se (like anything else, it will depend on context), I wanted to flag one tool in particular that can save time.

Finding time

Socrative has been around for a while now and I have seen it used at a number of events and conferences to good effect over the years. However, if you haven’t seen it used there’s a perfectly good (and fairly short) video tutorial covering the key features available on the Socrative website here.

It’s very much badged as a tool to support formative assessment and that is typically how I use it in a session, but I’d just like to flag a couple of things with the tool that you may not have used and explain why they might be useful:

  • The Wi-Fi has gone down – what do you do? Panic. There’s no other possible response. Everything you did relied on the technology working. And it didn’t. Bad technology. I’m not using you again! It’s a familiar scenario and we’ve all been there and can sympathise. One feature that is useful in Socrative is the download feature – you can save your quizzes as PDFs and print these off if needs be (perhaps saving them in a folder labelled ‘Plan B’ ;-)). Just because Wi-Fi lets you down on occasion, don’t give up – these things happen all the time when teaching, it’s how you deal with it that matters.
  • Share your quizzes with other teachers in your department. They might be able to provide feedback on your questions and more importantly it nurtures a culture of sharing that saves everyone time. If they have Socrative accounts too, you can share a quiz produced with other users. Simply go into the edit mode of a quiz you have produced and check the “Share Quiz” option in the top right (see below).

Share quiz option

All another user has to do is go to their quizzes, select the “Import Quiz” option and enter the code for the quiz. Hey presto – the quiz appears in their quizzes too, saving duplication of effort and time.

In the spirit of sharing, I’ve created a quiz around internet safety that you are more than happy to copy and use if this is something that is useful to you. Simply follow the steps described above (the quiz code to import can be found in the image above). If you’ve made any good quizzes, especially on technology related themes, feel free to share them in the comments section below too.

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