Starting Somewhere

Starting Somewhere

Integrating technology-starting can be the most difficult part. I did not start with Twitter or blogging or web design or coding or video editing, I started with one tool. We all have to start somewhere, and our start should lead to possibility…

One of the first web tools I used in my classroom was Poll Everywhere. There are numerous uses for the polling system, but one of my favorite uses was as a means to spur conversation. During reading To Kill a Mockingbird, students were learning and applying historical analysis. Students were not only thinking about how setting influences plot, but also how setting influences conflict. In the past, when I asked students, “Who is most responsible for Tom’s death?”, a small portion of the class would respond. They might explain their thinking if I prompted, and then we moved on. Seeing/hearing each person respond started a conversation; their answer was not the end to the conversation. Every learner in class shared their thinking. Every learner in class saw the response of the group in real time. This had not previously happened in my classroom, nor had it been possible. Screen Shot 2013-07-24 at 12.05.12 PM

The free version allows up to 40 respondents for each poll. I made polls for each section of my students, so the number of respondents was never an issue. The question asked can be in the form of true/false, multiple choice, or open-ended. The results can be embedded in a presentation. Creating a poll is easy. The site has a great tutorial for support. I appreciated the real time information, and it was a way to incorporate technology with the devices we had-cell phones or computers. I have repurposed Poll Everywhere as a means to collect interest, organize groups, generate intrigue, and gather data.

We all start somewhere. The first thing we try should not be the last thing we try or the only thing we try. So, start somewhere and continue starting somewhere as “the start” will lead to possibility…