Sunday, February 24, 2013

Answering questions on WiFli Response

I've been getting some questions on just what is WiFli Response and how is it different from other student response systems. While I'm excited about its clean look and have floated some pictures out there, this may be a case where words will do it better justice.

First of all, this is not meant to be something that competes with Google Apps. In fact it is completely dependent on Google Apps. A user must be signed in to their Google account to be able to access their data in the app. If you are like me in the morning, signing in to Google is the second thing you do after turning on your computer. What's the big deal? You don't have to sign in to a second website before starting a class question and your data will continue from where you left off.

There are already free student response websites out there. That's totally correct and I've played with them as a classroom teacher. But my reality is I ask questions a lot in my class, I don't just want a statistic that gives me a vague idea of what to do with my instruction and I want students to be able to respond to the question with little time lost to tech navigation. Those reasons in my design led me to:

  1. Connect student response data to student names
  2. Identify who got it right if a correct answer has been included
  3. Provide student reported confidence
  4. Allow students to explain their answer or answer a secondary question
  5. Data can be filtered to identify student groups for future instruction
  6. You can save some data points for progress tracking for each class
  7. When class lists are entered you will know who has not yet responded
Simple instead of flashy. Students responding to the poll will just be a seeing a generic Google form. The intent is to not have to edit it but just use it as is. Answer choices are A-F, Yes, No, Unsure and Other where students can enter in a numerical or short text response. 
The question they are responding to will not be there but one that I have placed on the board, on a paper or spoken in my classroom. The intent of the product is for situations where one question is being asked at a time not a more formal assessment situation (check out my free assessment templates if you want that).

Two button operation. To operate it I can start a question, with or without a correct answer set, by clicking on the start button. As I want to update the student responses in the app I click on the app's refresh button. 
I can also tweet a prepared shortened link for students, have students access the form by scanning a QR code, shortened URL or have a permanent link embedded in classroom resources for the entire year. If I'm asking questions on a regular basis I want students to just go there without needing a room number or code to enter in every time. When a new question is started, the graphs reset and are ready to display the new incoming data. 

I'm a classroom teacher. I often find that listening to people that used to be classroom teachers or never were that they don't truly understand what I need to make my classroom teaching experience more effective with current challenges. As I was creating this, I had my own classroom in mind. Maybe that means it won't work for you but I think it's more universal than that.
I wanted to easily see who has not responded so I have it looking in my class lists. I didn't want to have to tell it what class I was polling so it will figure that out too.

I found myself writing down percentages for each day on a post-it note for each class to measure our growth. So I created a button that shows up when I set a correct answer with a question. When clicked, it will save the data point to a graph for the current class. The next time that class is answering a poll that graph will show up with their data points (and not my other classes). My classes like to see their progress graph and have conversations about why it went up or down from a previous question.
I didn't want to be tied to my computer so this is a web app that can be run from any web-enabled device. I can start a question from my desktop computer, iPhone, iPad, etc. (I would not recommend Internet Explorer...for anything.) 

Multi-purpose devices. If you are a district technology leader please do not use money on physical classroom clickers. Use your money to purchase devices that can have more than one purpose. I wrote a grant for clickers and they sit in the back of my classroom unused 3 years later. Get devices in the hands of your students that can create a window into the world, provide tools for student-led creation of content, calculators, etc. 

If you are interested in getting the app you can purchase it at
$5/teacher one time fee.

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