Bring your own Devices in Education and Interactive Student Engagement

If you have not been paying attention to the discussions flying around the internet and school about BYOD then you should be. BYOD – Bring Your On Device – is where the school stops providing the device that students use to enhance their learning. Instead the students must provide their own. Their a many students who have great devices in their pockets already in the form of iPods and phones. Of course now the discussion is exactly how many students do own such a device and what could we use them for? How can such devices be used to enhance learning. That is the most important question we need to ask. What we plan to do with these devices must make what we are doing better, faster more engaging or even better, provide a new opportunity not otherwise available. It is not good enough just to use these devices for the sake of using them or the novelty of it.

Tonight I ran across a web service/app that I have been on the lookout for since the iPad came out. I have wanted a better way to incorporate student response systems in my classroom. I have one set of 32 clickers that the students and I both enjoy using. I have been looking for apps that would take the current experience to the next level. I have also anxiously been waiting for a system that would allow my students to use their own devices that they own. 

http://www.socrative.com/ is the service I ran across. This is a way to engage the entire class using any device. There are a slew of options in Socrative! Quick exercise, Exit Tickets, Quizzes and Games to name a few. These are all ways the student interacts with Socrative. Then the teacher has the capability to run reports on how the students responded.  The compatibility includes any device that is web enabled and any internet browser. This means a student could use Android, iOS, Palm or anything else that lets you access the web! These are the devices that are sitting on kids music stands or are in their pockets anyways! Why not actually use them to your benefit and more to the point allow the students to give you feedback that will help you teach better? Why not give a quiz that is automatically graded for you? How great would that be? Give a test and you walk out of class with the grades already done!

There is a teacher app as well as a student app for iPod Touches and iPads. The sign up was quick and fast. Their website says it takes a teacher 3 minutes to setup and the students apps take 20 seconds to load! Now that should keep them going!

One of the great parts of this service is that this is free (for now!) You need to go check this service out – do yourself a favor and your students as well! Leave me a comment down below if you use this service or if you use student response systems in your music room/classroom.

As a side-note, the only reason I came across this app is because I subscribe to many different web-sites using RSS feeds. If you don’t use RSS News Feeds you should. RSS is a quick way to follow your favorite web-sites without having to actually go visit each and every web-site on a daily basis. I simply use Google Reader as the main component, the place I subscribe to my web-sites from. Then I have several iPad apps that I use to go and see what’s new. This is a 2012 version of my Grandpa’s/Mom’s newspaper. I get to see only news that I want to see. I get to QUICKLY go through and look at only new information.

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