If students are to benefit from a teacher's hard work in preparing lessons, they require regular feedback in a variety of original formats. "Thumbs up they understand/thumbs down they don't" might not be the most effective way to see how well students grasp key concepts. So for teachers to keep a finger on the pulse of student progress a new approach is necessary. How about instant polling on any subject in almost any format-multiple choice, short answer, etc.? Such a tool would involve every student anonymously in sharing answers. Teachers would be able to show almost immediate charts on polling results, and this is where the discussions would enter the picture as students analyze the poll results. The role of teacher becomes one of moderator or facilitator and not lecturer.
Here is an excellent tool to offer such a dynamic change in instruction--socrative polling. It is free tool for both teacher and student. Once a teacher joins, s/he is given a "classroom" and that is shared with students. How does it support instruction? Watch the video here for a quick overview. Students will be excited about sharing responses since there would be no risk of embarrassment:)
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