Friday, August 26, 2011

Questioning Students with iPad

I'm always looking for the best way to question my students. I think most educators do. We look for ways to question to check student understanding, plant a seed to promote further thought, and help direct our classroom learning. We try to vary the levels of questions...who hasn't used Bloom's Taxonomy here and there to guide their levels of questions?

So, knowing that the conversation is really important in the lesson, I try to find the best questioning methods and techniques. This leads me to the iPad and how I utilize it in the classroom for questioning.

I may find more apps and methods in the future that help me with this goal, but I'm going to explore my use of three questioning methods and the reasons behind them. (This is a journey, and I'm sure I'll find even more ideas out there to try in the future.)

Method One: Google Docs

I can link a google form to my class webpage and use it for gathering student responses.

Benefit: Keeps my student responses for long term review. Able to grade and use for numerical grade data. Variety of questions can be asked. Super easy to create, link, and have students access. Free!

Method Two: eClicker and eClicker Host

I can use the combination of the free eClicker app and the $9.99 eClicker Host app to push questions to my students iPads. I am the Host, and they are the receivers. (Seriously, that JUST sounds cool!)

Benefit: I can use a variety of questions, including ones with pictures and drawings. The students can see the spread in answers with a graph. I can store and email results for later review, print, and use. This is cool for pushing a couple questions at a time for a quick check.

Downside...I have experienced some trouble with the iPads all trying to communicate with the host at the same time.

Method Three: Socrative System

This is a really slick way that I explored today in class. This runs through the web. The teacher sets up a free account at and gets a 'room number'. Students then jump onto the web and go to and enter that 'room number'. ( www used at beginning of web address.)

(Also, we used the iPad function of safari to make a shortcut of the site so that students can easily jump to this site each time.)

From here, I can ask students a variety of questions including short answer, T/F, multiple choice, and more. There is a game feature with this site. And, I set my iPad up with the projector so they could see answers as they fed in. Fun way to intro the app! They loved checking the results spread.

We used it to decide clues for our Mystery Skype calls next week.

Benefits: Really easy way to access student ideas. Really reliable (for the first time using.) There seems to be even more possibility in this method than I explored today. FREE!

What it really boils down to is what method works best for your task/goal? Using different apps and methods is all a part of the game of the evolving classroom. What was needed today may not be needed tomorrow, or may be needed even more! What works in my room may or may not work in yours. But, it sure is fun trying this out, learning, growing, and sharing!

(If you have an app or method that you use, I would love for you to share!)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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