Thursday, December 31, 2015

A really cool online micro-polling, brainstorming website

The website is called AnswerGarden, and it's similar to PollEverywhere and some online quiz-games. But it has some important differences.
Image result for answer garden
Both AnswerGarden and PollEverywhere let you pose questions to poll your students and get instant feedback.  What makes AnswerGarden so cool is that it can tabulate the responses and display them in a word cloud.  That means that it could be most effective as a brainstorming tool because it would reflect the frequency with which specific answers were given.  You will pose questions to your students and then display their responses using an LCD projector on a screen.  AnswerGarden's Moderator Mode lets you manually approve student responses before they are displayed to the class. (Phew.)

The reason that AnswerGarden is a micro-polling application is that student answers must be limited to just a few words.  So it would not replace review games like Triventy, Quizizz, or Kahoot.   Here's a sample AnswerGarden question ("What makes you happy?) and resulting word cloud:
And here's a tutorial (4:34) on how to use AnswerGarden:
As of now, AnswerGarden operates just with computers, laptops, and iPads.  That's a deal breaker for me because it won't operate on iPhones.  (Our school has laptops but they're not reliable and have other problems.)  I've written to AnswerGarden's developers  about when they might have an iPhone app and am awaiting their reply.

T/H to @rmbyrne for his post on AnswerGarden.

2 comments:

Rs said...

Hello!

Thank you for your awesome article on AnswerGarden!! Regarding your question on when we might have an iPhone app - we are working on it:

AnswerGarden already works on iPhone (or any other smartphone) - simply go to http://AnswerGarden.ch in Safari or any other mobile browser (we recommend turning your iPhone to landscape-mode for a better fit). Of course, this works better with bigger iPhones such as 6 or 6C than, for example, iPhone 4.

We are currently exploring the design of a dedicated iPhone app. Getting interactive word clouds to work on such small screens (without constant pinch-zooming)is quite challenging, therefore we are experimenting with different interfaces. One that already exists is Microgarden, a simple input-only interface for AnswerGarden: http://answergarden.ch/about-microgarden/ . You can use MicroGarden for polling without showing the results instantly (such as a blind poll). But you still need a regular AnswerGarden for viewing and interacting the responses.

Do not expect a dedicated iPhone app within a month or two (our team consists only of two people :-) Do keep an eye out on the AnswerGarden newsletter (about 4 times a year) for all developments.

Thanks again for trying out AnswerGarden and we wish you the best for 2016!!

Best regards,

Richard & Sander (CreativeHeroes)
http://answergarden.ch

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