Think:games blog #2: Socrative

Hi everyone, in my first blog post I looked at three games and their potential for education. In the next post I will look at a specific game again (No Man’s Sky), but first I want to cover something of more tangible use in a classroom. This is partly to stress that this is not a game blog: I want to provide as much tools and materials as I can for actual teachers in actual classes. So please let me know your opinions on whether that is working or not, so I can change my course as I write! Now, let’s get into it.

If you are unfamiliar with it: Socrative is a web and mobile app that allows you to interact with a classroom in various ways. You can ask questions, do quizzes, review students’ work, hold competitions and lots more. During my Master’s (for philosophy education), Socrative was praised as a particularly useful tool to monitor class activities as well as improving quality and quantity of interactions with students. The only downside is that it requires every student to have a device that the application can work on, but when that is the case, you can start using it right away.

If you want a more extensive, step-by-step introduction of Socrative, you can watch this video by the channel Technology for Teachers and Students (which has plenty of other useful videos). Socrative also has its own channel with some tips and tricks here.

Now, MasteryConnect, the company behind Socrative, has launched Socrative Pro. Socrative Pro is the old Socrative, but with added benefits such as personalization, a larger capacity and a dedicated help center. At 29,99 USD per year, this is a bargain if you are a regular user.

After doing more research, I will write a more in-depth article on the uses of Socrative in combination with games in education. However, here’s some ideas if you already want to get started:

  • When using games for their narrative value (for example in language or maybe even literature classes), have students do a Socrative quiz along the way, answering questions about the story. There are plenty of games that have narratives that can compete with books, among them PS1 classic Xenogears, but also modern games such as SOMA, Bioshock Infinite and Firewatch. If you still need convincing games can have a strong narrative, watch this strong review of Firewatch and maybe play the game yourself).
  • When using games in a competitive way, such as a competition for a specific victory type in a strategy game (for example the Civilization or Anno series, or doomsday preventing simulator Fate of the World), use the space race tool to keep track of the progress of individuals or groups. A future blog post will discuss pros and cons of competitive gaming for education.
  • When using games in classes, chances are high students are not packed together in one room. Socrative lets you interact with all students without having to raise your voice or move around constantly, with of course the benefits that Socrative already has; a clear overview of who has answered and who hasn’t.

Hopefully this blog post has given you some food for thought on the uses of Socrative for gaming in education (or maybe you didn’t know it at all yet). If it has been useful (or the opposite), please leave me some feedback so I can improve my work!

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