One the best and quickest ways to start bringing technology into the classroom is through https://answergarden.ch/create/.  It takes a total of maybe 1 minute to set up the question and if you want to customize your options, up to 3 more minutes.  As a teacher, you have very limited time so this is a great way to get students to respond without making them write down their answer with a pencil and paper…again.

So how does it work?  It’s simple.  You ask a question, such as “What is your favorite color?”  This is a higher order thinking question right?  To get them excited about using it, ask a fun question like what their favorite music artist is.  You give students the link they need to answer the question and presto, all of their answers start showing up on the screen without any overlapping.  You can see immediately everyone’s answer without having to look at hundred pieces of paper.  Quick, easy, informal assessment!

How do I use it?  Here are some ideas:

  1. To break the ice.
  2. If you’re introducing a new topic, use it as the K (what do you Know already about…).
  3. For warm up questions, you can ask what answer they choose and why.
  4. As an exit ticket, you can ask a simple out the door question.
  5. As a quick check for understanding during the lesson.
  6. As a brain break and ask a silly question.
  7. To find out the most popular answer (it will get bigger as a response)
  8. As a great way to find out more about your students and culture
  9. To helps students who are visual learners
  10. Give students who are shy or ELL a way to share

As you can see, there are endless ways to utilize this website.  The best part is…it saves trees.  Lots and lots of trees.  The bestest part is (yes I wrote bestest)…it saves you from reading a million different pieces of paper and possible paper cuts.  It’s a win/win.  As you can see, there are endless ways to utilize this website.

Tell me more you say?  Awesome!  That means I’ve got you hooked, which could be another way to use answergarden, as a hook question!  Let’s walk through it together.  First, you type in your question.  Let’s say for giggles, “What is an example of an animal adaptation?”  Don’t hit enter yet if  you want to customize.  Scroll down to customize.  I suggest using the classroom mode because in moderator mode, you would need to manually approve each post- yikes!  You don’t have time for that.  Then choose how long you want your answers.  Keep in mind that 20 char (is not very long as you can see).  40 characters might be better to get the picture = 40.  You can also use a password so you can edit it later.

The spam filter is good for open ended question and you don’t want to get a bunch of the same answers, but if you’re looking for the answer for 2+2, you will only see one answer since there is only one answer.  You can change the case, which is helpful especially when your in a staff meeting and they ask where everyone would like to visit one day and all of the teachers look dumb when no one seems to know to capitalize countries.  Last, but not least you can change how long the question is good for.  So if you have an on-line class and need the link to be open for longer than a day, bingo.

So try it out yourself, play around with it.  Think of how this can be extended.  You could have students come up with the questions and get to see their question realized as their classmates help to answer it!  Can this be used globally?  Why not!  Know a teacher in another part of the world?  You should!  Ask them to ask your class a question or vice versa.  Wouldn’t that be amazing!

The site also says that you can, “Post it in a tweet or you can embed it on your website or blog to use it as a poll or guestbook.”

https://answergarden.ch/create/

Please leave a comment to let me know how you used it in your classroom!  I would love to hear your ideas.

Here’s an example of using Answergarden

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I’m not an any way affiliated with the programs that I will be sharing.  If I mention a website or program that would be beneficial in the classroom, it’s because it’s working in mine!

 

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