In the wake of so many other classroom response or “voting” tools that are out there in the market it’s no surprise that RM have introduced their own solution to the market place. In the last few weeks RM EasiRespond has become available for purchase through RM resellers. I was lucky enough to be lent a set by SA IWB partner Leading Digital so that I could have a little play with the new tool and share my thoughts with you. Obviously Promethean and SMART have had their voting tools for many years and, on first glance this set looks like a slimmer version of the original Activ Vote tool that I was fortunate enough to have in my classroom in the UK. Of course, the main difference being that instead of letters to choose from, we have coloured symbols. It is important to state that these tools have no where near the sophistication of the Activ. Expression systems which allow your students to input text or numerics. They are designed purely for multiple choice questions.
So what do you get when you purchase Easi Response?
- 32 Easirespond voting tools
- 1 Easirespond Teacher voting tool
- 1 Receiver and USB cable
- 1 Disc containing drivers for your receiver and new software (EasiRespond)
Do you need Easiteach Next Generation to use them?
The tools come with their own software which runs outside of Easiteach Next Generation (ETNG). Those of you who are familiar with ETNG may have noticed the voting widget in the widgets bar… I can’t get it to work with that at the moment, although I have asked the question of RM and as soon as I get a response, I will, of course share it with you. It would seem that EasiRespond currently works outside of ETNG and so “no” you don’t need to have ETNG to run this in your classroom.
Having had a great Tweet chat with one of the developers last night he sent me over this plugin (setup.exe). This enables you to connect your voting tools to Easiteach Next Generation so that they will work with the voting widget. All you have to do, once installed, is turn on the tools and your students will be able to use them to vote rather than having to approach the board to click their selection. It also means that you don’t have to have two pieces of software running in order to gauge your students’ responses. Thanks to the RM Team for letting me host the plugin for EasiReposond and ETNG on Teacher Technologies – It’s not available as a separate download on their own site yet 🙂
How does it work?
The system works just as any other multiple choice voting system does. The teacher creates pre-prepared quizzes and invites their students to respond. It then shows the students what percentage of the class got the right answer and allows you, the teacher, to view assessment data in the form of graphs and charts.
Let’s have a look….
When you run the software you will be greeted with a dashboard from which you can choose to create an activity, set up your classroom or check your handsets. Looking very similar to Easiteach Next Generation, EasiRespond allows you to create your own quizzes.
“Create an Activity” will take you straight into the quiz creation part of the software. Looking very much like Easiteach Next Generation, you’ll be able to add pages which contain multiple choice questions. There are lots of templates to choose from which include options to add YouTube videos, images and text. When you’re setting up your questions, be sure to place a tick next to the answer that is correct so that the system can mark the students’ answers for you and provide you with data.
“Class Management” takes you to the configuration screen for the classes that you teach. From here you can upload a CSV file which contains School user ID, Forename and Surname to automatically populate your class lists. This will then enable you to keep data on each individual child in your class as they complete their quizzes.
It’s also from this screen that you are given the option of viewing the data that has been stored on your class in either a graph or a grid. This fantastic assessment record can be viewed by class or student and the data can be exported to PDF of CSV (Excel)
The last option is “Handset Check” This where you come to configure your devices when you start. It’s also where you have to tell the system which tool is the Teacher one. You see, unlike the other voting systems I’ve seen, the teacher has a special voting tool of their own with its on special features. Rather than controlling the voting process from the front of the room you will find that you have the freedom to wander around your classroom whilst you control the quiz with the touch of a button. As you can see in the image on the right, the teacher tool has the ability to move the quiz forward or backwards, to play and pause the quiz and to start voting.
What does it like when the students take a quiz?
I really like the design of the quiz when it’s started. There are options to add animated sequences in between questions which make it feel very much more like a game than a quiz. The video example below shows you what one of the example quizzes that comes with the software (there are around 30 pre-made quizzes to choose from). At times it does get annoying to have the “ready” animations between every question but there are options from which you can choose when these screens appear or turn them off completely.
How could these devices be linked to the curriculum?
The image below is taken from the EasiRespond website and shows you possible links to the UK National Curriculum.I’ve devised my own Aussie one below that.
As you can see… they’re pretty versatile.