The digital divide between the digital have’s and have-not’s is essentially non existent. In a typical class, less than 5% of the students in my classes at Merced College do not have access to, or own either a smart device or laptop. In fact most of my students purchased smart phones before I did (last fall). Using a student response system in-class has increased student participation in discussions and problem solving sessions. In order to provide all students with the ability to participate, I applied for and received funding from the Merced College Foundation to purchase three iPad-mini’s for use in my classroom by students who do not have a device to use. Since flipping my classes, I’ve used three polling programs for in-class assessment: Polleverywhere.com, Socrative, and REEF Polling. Listed below are the pro’s and con’s of each response system.
I currently am using REEF Polling in all of my classes. Students last Spring had the opportunity to try both Socrative and REEF Polling. In a poll, 87% of that class preferred REEF Polling over Socrative so I’ve required REEF Polling in my classes since Fall 2017. Last semester I had a student with an extreme anxiety disorder. REEF Polling allowed that student to participate in the daily problem sets from home, and the student did very well in the class.
The use of student polling programs in my class have made my students more willing to participate in problem solving, fostered discussion between students, and has enriched the student's in-class experience.