Lori Miller Survey Monkey comments: Note: Comments are based on use of the free poll account. The user can use different types of questions in one poll. For example, you can have multiple-choice and text answer questions in the same poll. Creating the poll was easy and quick. It did take me a minute to figure out that you had to click on “Collect Responses” to find the link for the poll to post on a web site or to email to people. Free accounts allow up to ten questions per poll. Offers a newsletter with tips and specials. Offers templates to subscription members. Allows 15 different types of questions and gives examples of each type of question. Survey Monkey allows you to collect responses in a variety of ways, including email and downloading, but you must pay for more than a free basic account to use most of these tools. Results are compiled in an easy-to-read format, though you must click on links to access responses that were typed into text boxes. Paid accounts are also able to browse, filter, and share responses. Poll Everywhere comments: Note: Comments are based on use of the free poll account. I did note when I was signing up that you can buy different types of accounts up to $370/month. My thought was, “Who would ever need to use almost $400 worth of polls in a month?” But after thinking about it, I suppose that businesses might use that many polls or need that much feedback and information. You must choose from one of three types of polls. In the free version you cannot have more than one type of answer in the same poll. Allows for responses from the web, from smart phones, and from text messages. Allows for three different types of polls, including one type to ask for pledges of money for non-profit organizations. Free accounts limit you to one question only. Comparison of the two: Both have nice layouts and easy-to-navigate sites. Both made it easy to sign up for free accounts and to create polls. The free account of Poll Everywhere is much more limiting in the amount of information you can gather because it restricts the user to one type of question, whereas the Survey Monkey free account allows multiple question types. Since Survey Monkey allows up to ten questions per poll, more information can be gathered at one time. I tried to think of a reason I might use Poll Everywhere instead of Survey Monkey since it seems to be limiting, but when using polls with younger children, the shorter poll may be more advantageous and easier to understand. Either way, questions must be constructed carefully to gather useful information. Trivia polls may be fun occasionally, but I believe that most polls should have some value and help fill some need. As related to this course, they should help the students figure out what direction their learning needs to take and how to best judge progress toward goals. Both offer help and guidance. Survey Monkey offers a “Help Center” and Poll Everywhere offers a FAQ section. Survey Monkey allows you to “add collectors” so that you can get information from more than one group of responders. The feature I like best about Survey Monkey that Poll Everywhere does not have is the ability to add graphics. When working with smaller students (especially low-level or non- readers), graphics are a necessity to help them understand the text on a page. Analysis of ways in which these tools might be useful: I have already created a second poll in Survey Monkey to gather information about how many students have computers and the Internet at home, what parts of our school web site they use, what other applications they use, and what they’d like to learn in computer lab. I posted the link on our school’s web site but have not told students about it yet. Even though I have not asked students to go to the link and take the survey, I’ve had responses already just from students seeing the link and being curious about it. Their responses (and those of other students) will help me plan lessons for the lab and plan changes for our school site if needed. I believe that online polls will be invaluable to me. I can use them during special weeks (during Arts week, asking which instrument is their favorite). I can use them to help create lessons (asking questions like, “What do you need help finding on the Internet?”). I can use them to help with fundraisers (“What was your favorite booth at the Fall Festival?”). I can use them with teachers (“What software do you feel you need training in?”). When I really think about it, the possibilities for using polls are endless and actually entertaining as long as the information gathered is useful in some way. Kids love taking mindless trivia quizzes online so they should enjoy participating in polls that we might actually get some use from. As educators, we often have to complete year-end polls that force us to reflect on teaching practices and our schools. The use of polls in the classroom will do the same thing to our students and require them to reflect and consider things as they answer questions. Any time students are reflecting on learning they are growing as learners. There are few tools that I will actually pay for, but Survey Monkey is one that I will purchase a low-cost account and use in my lab/classroom, because I can see it as a useful tool.
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