Ed Tech Ideas

Tech Integration for Busy Teachers

Engage Students! ActivExpression Voting Devices

For a recent lesson with 4th and 5th graders on the subject of Internet Safety, I pulled out our ActivExpression (voting) devices and used a pre-made Promethean flip-chart that I downloaded from Promethean Planet. The students absolutely love using the voting devices and the discussion that ensues about each topic is amazing. The thing I like about the devices is that every student is an active participant and even the shy kids will “voice” their opinions. The graphs which can be embedded in the flip-chart, contain a wealth of instant information which show patterns that would be missed without the use of the voting devices.

Following are a few of the questions asked and answers the students came up with.

Which type of communication tool do you use the most online?

A. email
B. instant messaging
C. social network (Facebook, Myspace)
D. blog
E. other

This is the reality of today’s students. Even though 13 is minimum age of Facebook, over 26% of this particular 5th grade class uses social media as their main source of online communication.

Have you ever felt uncomfortable or unsafe while you were online?

A. Yes
B. No

The discussion that followed this question shined light upon some of experiences children have online, including: Weird emails from strangers; pop-up ads that take them to different sites; abusive/inappropriate comments on Youtube; virus attached via email; chat rooms in game sites; inappropriate images via Google image search.

When you are online at home are you usually:

A. working by yourself away from adults
B. working with a parent
C. working alone with a parent nearby

I was actually a little surprised by this number as I thought that more students would either be working with a parent, or with one nearby. The fact that almost 40% of 9 and 10 year old students are online away from parents is alarming.

As mentioned before, the discussion and aha moments that surfaced because of the devices was priceless. The students took away a lot more from this lesson because they were active participants and had a voice in the conversation.

Nuts and Bolts of using ActivExpression Voting Devices

Device Registration

The first step before you can start polling students is to register your devices. View the how-to video below to learn about this.

Express Poll

Sometimes, you’ll want something quick and easy. Making an express poll is the way to go.

Making a Quiz

To create a quiz in ActivInspire, follow these steps:

Have you had experiences using voting devices? What has worked well and what have been some of the challenges?

Here’s a quick-start tutorial to help you out.



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