Decisions, decisions; which tool to choose?
As a former science and social studies teacher I can appreciate the value of flashcards. I’ve always believed that the best flashcards are the ones students create because their creation reinforces the concepts on the cards. I do see the value in online flashcards because students with a smart phone could review while waiting for something, like mom to pick them up from school or an activity. As a school librarian, though, I can’t think of much use for flashcards.
I’ve used mindmaps for more than 20 years, both as a teacher and as a librarian, however, I’m not impressed with the online versions—they’re basically the same as an outline or organization chart, whereas a true mindmap is a reflection of a student’s understanding, containing random and unique images, text, and connections. (The latest catchphrase is “sketchnoting” but it’s the same thing as a mindmap). Consequently, the online mindmaps seem to me more useful for a teacher to prepare for students, rather than for students to generate as they are taking notes. As far as a digital mindmap tool for students, I’ve used “Inspiration” very successfully with students.
So, that leaves the survey tools. We Librarians LOVE surveys—we can get valuable feedback on a myriad of topics from students, teachers, other librarians, and the community, in order to be sure we are serving the needs of our patrons. I’ve had a Survey Monkey account for many years, but I was very impressed with all three of the tools we were presented, especially Typeform for student engagement. I chose, however, to use PollDaddy since it’s coordinated with WordPress, and will be a valuable addition for both my blogs.
I find the most difficult part of a survey is coming up with good questions. Knowing what you need and deriving questions that will get that the most accurate information which will display as data is the real challenge. In this case, I wanted something that would get a broad spectrum of responses from our class participants regarding their knowledge about school libraries, and I used some research studies as my guide for the questions.
Having created online surveys, it wasn’t at all hard to create my PollDaddy survey. I misunderstood the “3 different question types” so I had to quickly add the third ‘text’ response at the end. I’d have liked to include, instead, a matrix set of questions, but my brain is taxed enough lately!
I invite you to CLICK HERE to take my “DO YOU KNOW? School Library Survey.”
Below is a preview of the first 2 questions to entice you!