Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Using Mobile Evite's for Instant Polls...

So I have been playing with the new mobile Evite site (called Quickvites). While I know this site really is created for entertainment and social gatherings, I thought it might actually be a useful application in the educational setting. Therefore, I have come up with an activity that I would like to try with my students...using mobile Evites to create instant polls. Now there are other sites such as Polleverywhere or Mobiode where you can create instant polls for mobile phones. But Evite allows you to do a few things that I like. First, what you can do with Evite is allow students to add "feedback" as to why they selected their answer. For example in an Evite, you can create it so that there are three answer options (it is usually YES, NO, or MAYBE...but you can make it any three answers). When students answer on their cell phones, they can also text message their "reason" for their choice. Second, unlike Polleverywhere where you have to give out a text number before students can text their poll answer, Evite automatically sends the poll to the student's phones and gives them easy instructions on how to text back their choice. Finally, it does not need mobile web access, which is a negative of Mobiode.

Besides teachers creating the polls, students can create their own instant Evite polls. Students can actually create Evite's from their cell phones or on the computer. They can create one for homework and get feedback from their peers before class even begins the next day. Teachers could also create one, send it after school and compile all the responses before class the next day. The results show up instantly so you could even conduct them to get feedback during class or immediately after a presentation. Evite instant mobile polls could also be used for organizational purposes, such as a teacher trying to organize a meeting and wants to quickly find out if people can attend or students trying to organize study groups or get feedback on group project ideas.

Below is a quick tutorial...

1) Login to Evite.com (if you already have an Evite account, you can log in with that account, if not create one)

2) Click on Mobile Evite (upper right hand corner)
3) Go through the tutorial to create a mobile account

4) Add your students/parents cell phone numbers
5) Add your cell phone number and get the confirmation code from your cell.

6) Select your preferences (select to receive responses on your cell phone so even if you do not have Internet you can still prepare the lesson and/or receive the instant feedback).

7) Return to the homepage
8) Click on create quickvite

9) Set your preferences for your mobile Evite. Type in the question as the invitation so it is the first thing people see on their cell phones. You can even add a date/time so that respondents know when they must give their poll answers by. Select the students/parents that you would like to get your poll "answers" from. Once you hit Submit, the instant Evite poll is sent to everyone. Additionally, as they respond you will be able to get the responses on your cell phone and online.
10) Return to the main page and your new Evite mobile invitation should be on your homepage. Click on the invitation link to view the responses. Remember you can get all the responses instantly from your cell phone too!
11) All the results will show up under YES, NO, and MAYBE (and who sent them), so you can instantly have a discussion about them!

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