Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Free SMS Polling Tool For UK and Australia

A new mobile polling tool has just been introduced called SMSpoll. SMSpoll is similiar to the fantastic Polleverywhere (which I believe is US only right now). SMSpoll has a free account which allows for 25 votes per poll (enough for many individual classes) and 500 new polls per month. While the purpose is to take advantage of student owned cell phones for the 20% who do not have cell phones, they can vote on the web. The polls can also be downloaded into PowerPoint and embeded into a website/wiki/blog. You can also download the results in an excel spreadsheet. One additional feature that SMSpoll has is an auto-stop that you can schedule for polling (for example you can schedule a class poll to automatically stop at the end of class without having to go back to the website to close the poll). You also (unlike Polleverywhere) can get the results of the poll on your mobile phone! Of course you do have to pay extra for this feature. The template to create the polls is very easy to use. The major drawback is that you can an Australian number to text results to. It seems to work in the UK and Australia, and online web-based voting in most other countries. Here is a sample that I made below with web voting, feel free to try it!

Classroom Applications of mobile polling


It can be used to generate KWL's inside or outside of class. You can create polls about an upcoming topic to find out what students know (K). You can create polls about an upcoming topic to find out what student's want to learn (W). Finally you can create polls at the end of a unit to find out what student's have learned (L).


You can use the polls for voting on topics for discussion/study. Students can develop mock elections as well.


Students could create polls to get feedback after they have completed a presentation. They could also generate polls to use as feedback during their presentation (audience participation).

What will Happen?

Teachers could create polls concerning what students think will happen in a book, scientific phenomenon, or historical event. For example, before knowing the outcome of A Separate Peace, students could vote on what they think will happen. Or students could vote on how many "eggs" will break in their gravity experiment.


Unknown said...

Just found your blog here, and I am glad I did. I am attempting to bring the use of cell phones into the classroom practices of some of the teachers I work with. Your resources are fantastic, as well as your focus on pedagogical uses.

Anonymous said...

Love your blog! This is a great post, although in New Zealand we are still a bit on the outer so I don't think we will be able to use this service. We are however, able to use polleverywhere - you can only sms your answer in the USA but we just use the mobile web to submit our answers at poll4.com.

What I am after, and I can't seem to find anywhere, is a way to get students to text in their answers but for the answers to form a text cloud (only 1-2 word answers)- and every time an answer is repeated the word gets bigger - like a wordle picture. Any ideas????

Liz Kolb, Ph.D. said...

Try using http://wiffiti.com, that might be what you are looking for.

Enjoy your blog too!


Anonymous said...

Looks very interesting, but looks identical to Poll Everywhere. Is this the same company? Unfortunately, neither provides service to Canada, so I'm still out of luck.

Brad said...


Brad from Poll Everywhere here. You're in luck now, we launched service in Canada a few weeks ago.


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