“Socrative: An Interactive Digital Tool” Contributed by Nick Zingo

TBR Certified Trainer Nick Zingo says: “Yup, folks, it’s ‘Socrative’ not ‘Socrates!'” He explains: “If you’re looking for another great instructional tool for your teacher’s/trainer’s toolbox, you may want to consider Socrative – a great digital tool that ensures collaboration and that reinforces learning!”

Nick’s Blog Post About Socrative:

“As a college instructor, I am in constant search of new and different techniques to engage my students every semester (full disclosure: I don’t use the same technique more than twice a semester because I always keep in mind, “Different trumps same!”).

Socrative is a free learning application (with no ads!) that allows you to challenge your learners in many different ways. I have used the free version for years, although you can purchase a “pro” version, if you wish. You can access Socrative directly on line (register for a free teacher account at https://b.socrative.com/login/teacher/). You also have the option of downloading the app to your digital device, as well as to your computer.

“Basically, Socrative is a cloud-based learner response system developed in 2010 by Boston-based graduate school students. It allows for quiz creation, such as: true/false, multiple choice, graded short answer, or open-ended short responses. It can be used for formative (during a class) assessments or summative (at the end of the class) assessments. Furthermore, activities created with Socrative can be either teacher-paced for use during learner discussions and reviews, or totally student-paced.

“I use Socrative as a group engagement technique to reinforce learning. Using it in this manner requires that only one learner in each table group needs a digital device such as a smart phone or tablet. And there is no need for a learner to “register” or even download the app to their device as long as they can connect to the Internet (they have the option to download the student app, but it’s not necessary). Instead, learners are given a “room” name which you create beforehand and which they use when logging in.

“One of the most engaging features of Socrative that I use is the “Space Race.” This activity allows learners to connect with one another, discuss, collaborate, and agree on the correct answer before responding to a question.

“In Space Race, you set up table groups with 3 – 5 learners in each group. You pre-design a series of Socrative true/false statements or multiple-choice questions that the table groups will discuss and respond to collectively. A correct response moves each group’s “space ship” towards the finish line on the screen. Groups learn that being correct is more important than responding quickly.

“You can display the results of each group’s response in “live” fashion on a screen if you wish – see the university classroom example below:

“As shown above, in Space Race, Socrative assigns a different color to each table group team. Because the emphasis is on collaboration by each group’s members, and because groups must discuss and agree on their group’s responses, the competition-factor is between groups rather than between individuals. In other words, there is more of a focus on collaboration rather than competition, while still adding a bit of the latter to make the activity more fun.

“In conclusion, Socrative is a great app to use to engage learners in content-based discussions, content-reviews, or preparation for testing. It’s easy to use and it also has an Exit Ticket feature built in so learners can leave feedback. If you have any questions about Socrative, or wish to share your experiences with this collaborative digital learning tool, feel free to drop me a line at LAHeat@gmail.com.

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About Nick Zingo, MPA, MICC, TBR Certified Trainer: 

Nick is an instructor for California State University, Northridge, and Moorpark College, Ventura County, California. He is also a Certified Trainer for “Training from the BACK of the Room” and a State of California Master Instructor. He is an experienced facilitator, speaker, and SME (Subject Matter Expert) in police culture. Because he’s well-known in college and police academy circles for his “different” (and successful) teaching techniques, he’s often called upon by colleagues for new teaching and training ideas. Nick constantly emphasizes the importance of Accelerated Learning, brain-based instruction, and engaging all learners!

For Nick’s previous contribution to this blog, click on Cafe Conversations or on the link below. You can find Nick on LinkedIn or contact him via email at LAHeat@gmail.com.

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