At 8AM this morning, I stumbled into Molleen’s Christian Morality class with a laptop in one hand and a foggy brain in the other. She began the class, sitting cross-legged on the table, leading the class in a meditative prayer. To my disbelief, chatty students became engaged, relaxed, and focused — and I, myself, followed her lead only to find myself much more open to learning and grateful for the present.

Poll Everywhere

Molleen kicked off the morning with a live poll on a topic from the previous class where students could either text or type their responses with a phone or laptop. It was similar to what some of you may call bell work, “engage” exercises, or review.

The system she used was called Poll Everywhere. Think of it as a combination of a free backchannel chat, pop-quiz, iClicker, Wordle, Kahoot, and AnswerGarden, all embedded within Google Slides or PowerPoint.

Benefits for the teacher:
-Embeds a poll on a slide within a presentation
-Opens poll when slide starts, closes when slide changes
-Select from multiple question types: multiple choice, word clouds, open-ended, etc.
-Makes use of our 1:1 laptop program. Not every student will have a phone, but as a 1:1 laptop school, students will definitely have a laptop.

Teacher Process:

  1. Create a presentation with Google Slides, Keynote, or Microsoft PowerPoint
  2. Download the app or add-on for your desired application.
  3. Open your presentation and create the poll question type.
  4. Deliver your presentation.

Student Process:IMG_0235.JPG
This was virtually seamless. Students naturally pulled out their phones and laptops, typed in a code to a number or went to a website (kind of like how we use Remind or Share911), and entered in a response. As I watched from the back, I could tell that they were thrilled to see where they were in relation to their classmates or for those less certain, slightly hesitant.

Teacher Tips:

  1. Give the audience just enough time for the poll, not too much. Students can start to get antsy and mess around with different answering options when they start to get restless.
  2. Poll Everywhere is a tech tool, which can be strategically used as icebreakers, formative assessments, lesson enhancements, and audience feedback.

Try out Poll Everywhere and let us know how you like it!

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