For my fourth learning tool exploration I decided to take a look at surveymonkey. Surveymonkey is a website designed to help users create their own surveys or use existing surveys. It is free to sign up, though the free version only allows for 10 questions and 100 responses per survey and is limited to the customizable features of the appearance of the actual survey. There are other versions for a monthly fee that has much more features and capabilities than the free version.
What I valued most about this website is the ease it was to create and view surveys. I was able to put together a quick “my favorites” survey that could be used as an introduction activity to get to know my future students. It is not limited to surveys, as one could create a test using the same formats. Again, the only down side of this is that the free version only allows for 10 questions. So the survey or quiz would have to be on the shorter side but definitely doable especially for a review quiz or an exit slip type quiz. The other aspect I thought was especially neat was the multiple methods to distribute the surveys. You can distribute the surveys via web link, email, put in on your website, and on facebook. Another feature I valued is surveymonkey will collect the responses and will also analyze the results in various ways.
I love the idea to create my own surveys and questionnaires that I can use in the classroom and also send out to parents. Surveymonkey also has example surveys like teacher feedback which can be used for parent insight. One way I can especially see myself using this tool is through creating surveys before and after specific units or lessons. This would be an easy and anonymous way to gather insight on student prior knowledge, as well as what students have learned. Also this could be used to ask students what they enjoyed, disliked, or thought was difficult about the unit or lesson.
I did not find this tool difficult or challenging to use. I can see it being a tool for students to even use to create their own surveys to gather results. This could very well tie into a mathematical lesson involving gathering data, making graphs, and analyzing the information. Again the only frustrating thing about this tool is the limited capabilities with the free version. Having the ability to only create 10 questions can be a difficult hurdle to overcome. I do think hat limiting the number of questions can also be viewed as an advantage. Individuals creating the surveys will have to put more time and thought into what questions are really necessary for the survey. It may get rid of lengthy surveys that seem to drag on forever and long surveys may not be appropriate especially for elementary aged students. Overall, I see this tool to be useful and very easy to incorporate in my teaching practices.