Multiple tools can be used in order to improve students’ English speaking skills and motivation. One app that is very interesting in order to achieve this goal is Socrative. First Socrative is an App that allows teachers to create exercises and games related to English and share them in their virtual classroom. They can create multiple choices quiz, true/false quiz and lots of other kinds of game. When the activities are created, students can log in their virtual classroom with their computer, smartphones and tablets and select the activities that have or they want to do. When the students have completed the activities, teachers can view the results of their students as a google spreadsheet or as an emailed Excel file. There are multiple reasons why this app has its place in a classroom and they will be discussed in this blog.
The first reason to use Socrative in your classroom is the fact that it allows teachers to have instant feedback on the effectiveness of their teaching. Indeed, Socrative can create a single response activities which will ask students to reply to a question or a survey without entering their name. If you ask a question to the students about the number of homework or if the activities are interesting in the classroom, no one will raise their hands because they will be feared that you use their opinion to lower their grades. However, if you ask them to reply anonymously, you will receive very interesting feedback that will improve yourself as a teacher and the ones who will benefit from it are the students. We always tell our students to improve and to work on their weaknesses, this also applies to teachers. Every study says the same thing, the classroom should be an environment in which students are fully comfortable in order to learn in the most effective way. Having surveys in which students tell how they feel and what can be improve is fantastic. Like Jen Carey from edtechteacher stipulates: ”we must constantly ask for feedback. Without regular student and teacher surveys, you do not know where they are. This is vital in understanding where they are, how they are progressing, and how to get where we want to be. This should not only occur throughout the year, but when implementing new projects. For example, you can survey students before a project and then after, you can ask students about their internet access at home (do they have it? is it filtered?), and do they enjoy how technology is used in class?” She raises a good point, if you ask them questions in order to know about themselves, it will help you to teach because a reliable link will have been created. If they see that you are trying to improve and to make the classroom as fun as possible, they will do the same. It is a win-win situation.
Furthermore, Socrative is wonderful tool in order to see if a particular concept has been mastered during a class. Indeed, you can create quizzes with multiple choice answers or true/false in order to evaluate their comprehension. If I’m projecting myself in the future, I can see myself asking students to go on Socrative before next class to answer the quiz about the past of regular verbs for example. When they will have done it, it will allow myself to reflect on my teaching and see what has been understood and what hasn’t. It will give me key information about what has to be taught during next class. This app could be perfect for flipped classroom for example. Like Paul Marshall for edteachnews says: “I think this is good news though. Essentially, this reflects how aware students are of what I think the most important benefit Socrative offers is: you can monitor, at a glance, every single student in the room. You can see their progress and responses throughout the activity, and as a spreadsheet report at the end. We are used to this in summative tests and exams (which we usually have to mark manually), but it is eye-opening what a difference it makes to see so easily what every single student thought the answer was, as formative assessment during classwork activities.” Having the possibility to receive the results of those short quizzes will be very useful to see if some students are struggling. Indeed, using Socrative to track students’ progression will allow teachers to meet students who need more help. If you ask students if they are struggling, they will never tell you so. With Socrative, you will be able to see if they do their homework and the results to it which is not case if the only exams that they have are formative ones. If you ask them to do formative assignments regularly, you will be able to help them before they fail an important exam.
Another benefit of using Socrative in the classroom is the fact that it will increase students’ motivation to improve in English. Indeed, this app is really dynamic and it will not look like a boring homework for students. The fact that they know that they will have to respond to five multiple choice questions instead of a summary of last class as a homework will keep them motivated to do them. Before going on Facebook or on Miniclip, they will only have to log on Socrative and do their formative test. It is not a difficult task, isn’t it? Like Matan Talmi for the Israel Edition stipulates: “it is the easiest, most user-friendly site I have used, and it gives me so much feedback in an instant! The kids are very motivated. I am such a believer.”So, will our children have more fun in the classroom than we ever did? That’s up to startups like Socrative and others, and we’ll have to wait to see if they can transform the classroom.” If teachers don’t create homework that students will be interested to do, you will never be able to motivate them to learn outside the classroom.
Finally, another feature of Socrative that I will use is the multiple choice quizzes. I know I have talk about it already, but another way that I would use it in my classroom is asking students to create quizzes. Indeed, I think that the best way to see if you have understand something is by teaching it to somebody. They would have to test each other which will create competition in your classroom. If I would like to go further, I would ask to create quizzes about general knowledge in order to get my students to follow politics or the actuality in general. By using Socrative, students will find it interesting to answer to their peers’ quizzes because it doesn’t take much time and it is fun. If you are not convinced that young people love to answer to general questions, you only have to look to the success of QuizUp and you will see that they LOVE it! As a teacher having my students to learn and to be interested in different subjects is perfect. I will repeat myself for the 1 253 time, I want my students to become efficient in English, but I want to see them grow as active citizens which will benefit all the fields of the society.
As you see, Socrative will allow teachers to improve and to help students improve in a fun manner.