Today I'm giving the application, Poll Everywhere, a try. Poll Everywhere and its ilk are designed to replace hardware-based audience response systems (ARS), such as "clickers", with a web-based application that polls the audience via different methods like SMS or online voting. An example of the kind of use of this service can be seen in the embedded chart widget below.
I've just started with this application, but already I can see the great utility of this approach. In fact, I feel rather foolish for not looking into this approach to audience polling sooner, since SMS polling has become a ubiquitous marketing tool for everything from soft drink marketing to reality TV. The results are gathered and presented realtime, so the feedback potential is ideal for the class room. Add to this the ability to embed the graph in your blog, website, or download as a presentation slide, and you have a streamlined method to seamlessly present your polling data to almost any audience.
As far as pricing goes, Poll Everywhere provides a wide array of pricing options. A free account allows for up to 30 participants per poll, an ideal number for a small class size. For the K-12 community several discounted rates are available, ranging from free for small classes of up to 32 students to district-wide plans. For higher education the plans range from small classes of up to 32 all the way to unlimited numbers of participants with varying prices.
All in all, I am very pleased to finally have a low-cost method of implementing classroom response technology in all of my courses. Give this one a try.