I first should say that I look at polls with some skepticism – I want to know the methodology before I respond. And, I definitely do not respond to polls that require testing. I don’t text. I do not have a text plan nor do I plan to get one in the near future. This is my technology line in the sand.
I responded via my computer to a poll about using a cell phone in teaching. The poll was created with Poll Everywhere, a text messaging voting application, and respond I did – that I was not likely at all to use a cell phone in teaching.
Then I thought, I don’t text, but how many of my geography students do? In fact, many of them view their cell phones as an appendage of sorts. So what did I do after taking the poll? I signed up for a free account and created a poll for students in both of my classes.
Several students took the poll prior to class, but the majority of students did so at the beginning of class. In each class, of the students who completed the poll, approximately 1/3 of the students either had no text plan or text plans that blocked their ability to participate in the poll.
Students seemed to enjoy taking the poll, which was used as a lead-in to small group work. In fact, several students thought it would be great to create their own polls.
So, am I converted? Will I cross my own line and text? No. Will I reply to the text messages I receive? No. Will I use polling in class again? I believe I will. Will I explore other uses of cell phones in class? I believe I will. In fact, I am very likely to use a cell phone in teaching.
Now, I’m off to read The Complete Educator’s Guide to Using Skype effectively in the classroom. Bookmarked? Yes. Re-tweeted? Yes.