Looking for a clever FREE way to poll your class? Want to generate student ideas for your next unit of study? Curious about how many students “got it” in your last lesson? Want an exit “ticket?” For these responses and much more, AnswerGarden is a clever tool for educators. If you’ve used Wordle and Padlet, you’ll find that AnswerGarden combines their features (and your responses can be imported into Wordle). Never heard of either? That’s OK. I’m here to answer all your questions.
Go to the AnswerGarden site and check out their tools and video tutorials. Then click on Create An AnswerGarden. (That’s a plus sign on most of the pages). Then type your question and decide how you want the site to function. I have created a question for my blog: What should I blog about? Click on that question (PLEEEZE!) and you will be taken to my AnswerGarden page. AnswerGarden creates a unique page anonymously for every user. No registration or fees. Just ask a question! I have limited answers to 20 characters. A spam filter is on to keep bad words out. You reply anonymously. No registering. Repeated answers will start to grow in size. The more frequently the same response is given, the larger and more centrally located it will become. I can hover over each response to see the number of times it was given. But I can’t see WHO typed it. I have set my AnswerGarden to remain open for a week. After that, poof! I can make it disappear anytime I want, too. Here’s what I have so far (thanks to my anonymous helpers).
An optional geo feature uses your IP address to make your AnswerGarden easily discoverable by nearby participants, which may be more valuable for conference participants and businesses than classrooms. An ad-free iPad app is available in July for $1.99 (and their regular app is available for free). There are Apple educator discounts for 20+ purchases of apps.
Some stats about AnswerGarden: Over 8 million answers were generated last year. The website has 2.3 million page views per month, and growing. It’s used worldwide, with the top 3 countries being the US, Netherlands, and Australia.
Once again, here’s my question: What should I blog about?