For some time I have been a fan of clicker cases, they are similar to the buttons used in the TV show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, and are a well documented means of improving student learning by providing instant feedback to students, a clear value in socialization and they also blends with students’ fascination with interactive technology and media.
However, the big problem for our school has always been the cost. They are not cheap. An average set (software, receiver and 8-10 ‘clickers’) will cost around $1500-$2000 USD.
Thus I have experimented with Blackberry groups, nearly all our students have one, and thus by creating a blackberry group for each class I could pre load questions into my blackberry and thus solicit feedback from the students in a similar manner to using real clickers, but without the cost. I found that the best way to do this was to have groups of 4 or 5 students share a blackberry and thus they would need to collaborate with each other, discuss the possible answers before sending a reply.
This worked to a degree, but it was slow and it does not create real time graphs for you.
Yesterday while browsing my PLN (Personal Learning Network) on twitter I noticed someone tweeting about inserting twitter into powerpoints ! This was a eureka moment for me, a little more digging and I found this website, and via that I downloaded some flash tools from here. Thank-you Timo Elliot, He has developed some pretty awesome tools and Shockwave Plug-Ins for Powerpoint that allow you to exactly to do what I was looking for.
I cannot tell you how excited I was, on a technology nerd scale of 1-10 it was about a 15 !
Now I can include twitter polling in my powerpoints, because, generally 90% of our students have a smart phone and twitter account with them in every class!
free, downloadable file here, PowerPoint Twitter Voting