On Friday my class and I tried a first attempt at using Socrative student clicker for the weekly warm-up quiz. Setting up a Socrative quiz was easy. You have to use two devices to set it up. Using my iPad, I wrote 4 questions that were based off of this past weeks warm up problems. Students were allowed to use their weekly warm-up sheet on the quiz, and while the numbers and questions would be different, I made sure they were very similar to what they had already seen. Socrative allows you to choose from multiple choice, short answer, or essay response. It has a nice interface and it is very user-friendly. The only downfall I ran into was typing in certain math “lingo”. For example, for one of the questions I wanted the students to write a number in scientific notation. With no way to write numbers as exponents, I had the students use the ^ key to denote a power. This was not a big deal but took more explaining on my part.
My first class of the day is a group of really great 7th graders. They were the first ones to have a go with Socrative. I was excited for them to use the their iPads and they were excited to finally put them to use! All was well until…. I heard the whining, complaining, frustration, and concerns! Some students seemed legitimately ANGRY at Socrative! I started to feel a bit stressed out/guilty that it wasn’t going well/angry at technology (not what I had hoped!!) What we figured out, ended up helping me for the rest of the day. When I set up my quiz, I also typed in the answers. However I typed in the answers was the ONLY correct answer. So for scientific notation, for example, if the answer was “5.8×10^7″, a student would get it incorrect if they put 5.8 x 10^7” (notice the spacing). This caused so many students to get the wrong response even though they know they put the exact same answer. Formatting was not something I anticipated as being an issue. By the end of the day, I knew exactly how to tell the students to type in the answers. I know for next week I will make it even easier, as in only single numbers as answers, or using only multiple choice.
Overall, I am excited about using Socrative. I love the instant feedback the students get, and I like how easy it is to set up and grade (an emailed report is sent right to my email with color-coded right vs wrong answers). With the craziness of today, I decided not to grade this one, but hopefully next week it will be smooth sailing!