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UMS Faculty Focus

The UMS Faculty Focus blog publishes articles on effective teaching strategies for technology-enhanced, classroom, online, blended, or flipped learning experiences.  Faculty e-Learning Grant recipients and other UMS faculty are welcome to contribute. Please contact the UC Faculty Development Center if you are interested in writing an article for UMS Faculty Focus at uc-fdc@maine.edu

Blogs (UMS Faculty Focus Blog)

Blogs (UMS Faculty Focus Blog)

Compare and Contrast: Pear Deck vs. The Competition

How does Pear Deck stack up against the competition and what might be the best polling tool for your educational needs?

While I do enjoy the functionality of using Pear Deck for quick summative feedback and formative data regarding student learning I have also had the opportunity to use other polling programs and devices such as iClickers and Kahoot.  Below is a brief summary of six different polling products with a brief description of their cost, features, and a link to their webpage to help you make an informed decision on which may be best for your classroom.

Pear Deck (Free and Premium - $99 a year) - https://www.peardeck.com/

Website Description - With Pear Deck, bring interactive, engaging slide presentations to your classroom. Real-time formative assessments and discussions enhance understanding and empower your students' learning process.

Pear Deck Free Version Features:

  • Unlimited Decks with Google Drive
  • Multiple Choice, Text, and Number Questions
  • Anonymized Student Responses on Classroom Projector
  • 50 Free Imports

Pear Deck Premium Features:

  • All Features Included in our Free Plan
  • Draggable™ and Drawing Questions
  • Private Teacher Dashboard with Student Responses
  • Post-Lesson Google Doc "Takeaways" for Students
  • Google Classroom Integration

Plickers (Free) - https://www.plickers.com/

Website Description - Plickers is a powerfully simple tool that lets teachers collect real-time formative assessment data without the need for student devices. Tailor instruction with instant feedback. Use Plickers for quick checks for understanding to know whether your students are understanding big concepts and mastering key skills.

Plickers Features:

  • Plickers App can be downloaded for free on the Apple App Store or Google Play
  • Only the teacher needs the Plickers App
  • Print out cards for free from plickers.com/cards or purchase on Amazon
  • Each card has a unique number that can be assigned to individual students and each side represents an answer choice
  • Add classes and students through the Plickers website on the Classes page (add up to 63 students per class)
  • Plickers automatically assigns card numbers to students as you enter their names
  • Create questions in your Library on the web or mobile app
  • Choose from multiple choice or true/false questions - questions can include images
  • Use camera icon on your mobile device to scan students' responses and receive instant feedback
  • Use the Live View tab on the website to display classroom results to students
  • Use Scoresheet to monitor student progress and save time grading

Further Information - https://plickers.app.box.com/s/7w6x5t4jlm5q55lx61fzd0x8zudc0k04

iClicker Cloud  (Paid) - https://www.iclicker.com/ (Premium - $14.99 six months/$23.99 a year)

Website Description - iClicker is the market-leader in student and audience response systems for Higher Education, recognized for ease-of-use, reliability, and focus on pedagogy.

iClicker Cloud Features:

  • Students can respond with smartphones, tablets, or laptops
  • Students can respond with iClicker remotes
  • GPS attendance
  • Classroom polling - Multiple Choice, Short Answer, Numeric
  • Advanced polling question types - Target/Heat Map, Long Answer (up to 140 characters)
  • Quizzing / Self-Paced Polling - Self-Paced Polling compatible with iClicker 2 remotes only
  • Anonymous polling
  • Roster & Gradebook
  • Online Gradebook - Access your gradebook from any computer
  • Excel exports
  • LMS integration - Blackboard, Canvas, Moodle, Sakai, D2L
  • Demographics
  • Student study guide
  • Cloud backup & storage
  • Works with the iClicker instructor remote
  • Requires an internet connection

Kahoot! (Free) - https://kahoot.com/

Website Description - Kahoot! is a free game-based learning platform that makes it fun to learn – any subject, in any language, on any device, for all ages!

Kahoot! Features:

  • Create a fun learning game in minutes – we call these ‘Kahoots’. You can make a series of multiple choice questions or try our new game – Jumble.
  • Kahoots are best played in a group setting, for example, a classroom. Players answer the questions on their own devices, while games are displayed on a shared screen to unite the lesson.
  • Social learning promotes discussion and pedagogical impact, whether players are in the same room or on the other side of the globe. After a game, encourage players to create and share their own Kahoots to deepen understanding, mastery and purpose, as well as engage in peer-led discussions.
  • Practice makes perfect! With the challenge feature and our mobile app, you can assign Kahoots as homework. Students play Kahoots on their phones for revision and reinforcement, training their classroom superpowers anytime. In homework challenges, questions and answers will appear on their phone screens. Choose a Kahoot, assign it as a challenge and share the link or PIN with your students.

Kahoot Plus! (Premium - $9.95 per month) - https://kahoot.com/plus/ 

Website Description - Make training fun and engaging in your organization with Kahoot! Plus, premium version of the game-based learning platform.

Kahoot Plus! Features:

  • In Kahoot! Plus, you can add your organization’s logo to all Kahoots you create.
  • Planning to train a distributed team or want to reinforce knowledge after a session? Assign Kahoot! challenges so that trainees play them in our mobile app and complete their training remotely.
  • In Kahoot! Plus, you can view advanced reports on game results and easily measure learning impact.
  • Invite other trainers from your organization to Kahoot! Plus to create and host awesome training games together.
  • In Kahoot! Plus, you create and share games in your organization’s own private, secure area. You can easily copy Kahoots from your private account, too. All content in one spot! 

Poll Everywhere (Free and Premium - $349 per semester) - https://www.polleverywhere.com/

Website Description - Poll Everywhere is the easiest way to gather live responses in any venue… conferences, concerts, classrooms, and company off-sites — anywhere with internet.

Poll Everywhere Free Features:

  • Up to 40 responses per poll
  • Embed live polls directly in your PowerPoint presentation on both Mac and Windows with our downloadable app.
  • We offer a full-screen presentation mode where you can display your instructions and the live poll results directly from the web. In full screen mode, your audience will see only your poll and not your browser buttons or tabs.
  • Several question types are available with your account including multiple choice, pick X of Y, clickable image, true/false, Q&A, and free response that can be visualized as a free text wall, a ticker, or a word cloud.
  • You can display responses to an open response poll as a live text wall that shows responses chronologically. You decide whether messages are anonymous or show who they are from (with the permission of the sender)
  • You can customize the colors, fonts, and graphics for your poll, or use one of our pre-made themes.

Poll Everywhere Premium Features (include all of the free features as well as the following):

  • Up to 400 responses per poll
  • When using a multiple choice poll, you can designate one or more of the choices as the correct one. Once you do, you can view a grading or ranking report to understand your participants' performance. You can also opt to highlight the correct answer live on your poll.
  • Get a high-level report on poll responses. Tells us what a right answer looks like and we'll score individual questions or grade entire quizzes. Choose when to highlight the right answer on your live chart. You can export any report as a spreadsheet or print it as a PDF.
  • Run team competitions on the fly. Each audience member self-identifies their team (e.g., men versus women) and you visualize their other responses by those teams. This powerful feature is also known in some industries as cross-tabbing, correlation, segmentation, or live pivot charting.
  • Manually approve each message to prevent inappropriate, off-topic, duplicate, or irrelevant responses from showing up on your screens.
  • If you want, Poll Everywhere can automatically prevent common profanities from appearing on screen, or you can choose to replace it with an *asterisk.
  • Custom key words allows your audience to respond using words you choose, after they have joined your Presenter Session.

Socrative (Free and Pro $59.99 a year)   - https://www.socrative.com/

Website Description - Socrative is your classroom app for fun, effective classroom engagement. No matter where or how you teach, Socrative allows you to instantly connect with students as learning happens. Quickly assess students with prepared activities or on-the-fly questions to get immediate insight into student understanding

Socrative Free Features:

  • On-the-fly Questioning
  • 1 public room for your classes
  • 50 students per session
  • Space Race Assessment
  • Formative Assessments
  • Visualize Real-time Results
  • Device Accessibility
  • Reporting
  • Share with an SOC code
  • Help Center Access
  • State and Common Core Standards

Socrative Pro Features:

  • Everything with Free, plus all the following:
  • Up to 10 private or public rooms
  • 150 student capacity
  • Space Race countdown timer
  • Roster Import via CSV or Excel
  • Restricted access to rooms with students ID# requirement
  • Personalized header for students
  • Instant quiz share to colleagues with unique link
  • Merge quizzes
  • Silent Student Hand Raise
  • Shareable links for easy student login
  • Export scores to gradebooks (soon)
  • Searchable quiz community (soon)
  • Dedicated Help Center & email support 

To learn further about these top rated polling options and many others please click here -




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