Pick Me! will do the same things as Pick-Me (confusing, I know. Just remember that this new one has an exclamation mark and no hyphen), but adds a very important feature: Pick Me! will keep a standing record of correct and incorrect responses that the students give. Therefore, over a lengthy period of time, teachers are able to see exactly how many questions were asked to each individual student, and how many they got correct. So, at the end of term, I can look down my fourteen different class lists and see how each of my 380 students fared orally when asked questions.
Pick Me! is a great app for teachers who ask a lot of questions each day, questions that students should know the answers to. I have a general list of questions for each grade that are relevant to what we are learning. I expect most of my students to be able to confidently answer them.
Like Pick-Me, this app will ensure all students do the following:
- pay attention when I ask a question;
- be prepared to be called upon at any time;
- form the correct answer in their heads in case they are picked;
- know that their responses are recorded for assessment
The developers at ClassEapps will send you a sample .csv file upon request (on their website). When you receive it, open up Microsoft Excel on your computer, and follow these steps:
(If you have multiple classes, just press “Save As…” and rename your file.)
Here is a short video I made on how to import class lists with Dropbox, and how to use Pick Me! This app will work on iPhone/iPad/iPod touch:
Using this method of evaluating students
If the question I ask is more on the difficult side, I tell my students that I will not penalize for incorrect answers (by tapping the thumbs down button), but will only reward them with a mark if they are correct. This hopefully alleviates some stress that they might be feeling towards this.
Alternatively, if a question is even more challenging, I ask them to revert to raising their hands, and, if they are correct, I will select their name and still give them a thumbs up.
Having this app definitely does achieve these four things for me as a teacher:
- Timid kids are almost “forced” to try to answer a question where before they would sit there, never raising their hand.
- “Know it all” students, who would normally get upset when they don’t get picked often, have the same amount of “talk-time” as everyone else.
- I get an authentic frame of reference at the end of each term regarding quantifying student’s oral marks and their in-class participation.
- Students become used to the iPad choosing, and understand that the pattern in which it chooses is random and fair.
Teachers have the option to either keep or remove “correct” students in the bag. Removing them will ensure everyone gets a chance at answering. Keeping them will prevent students from “tuning out” after they have answered already.
There is also the option to include a photo of each student. This may take a long time if you have many classes, but you just have to do it once, and the photos are there for the year. If you are just using the app for your own use, I don’t think it is necessary, personally, to add a photo. Having the option is nice though.
Pick-Me ($0.99) vs. Pick Me! ($1.99)
Having the same name as each other must be confusing for both the developers and users of each app. I would say that Pick-Me is a lot of fun with their pre-installed cartoon images. If you are planning on projecting them for the younger classes, they will undoubtedly have a hoot the first few times. However, if you want a record of all the questions you ask, Pick Me! is your choice.