Solicit Feedback from your Families using PollEverywhere

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Back in September, one my favorite bloggers and #edtech leaders, New Milford High School Principal Eric Sheninger shared a tool called Polleverywhere and how he was using it with his staff. I was intrigued to see how easy it was to use a cell phone to solicit feedback in just seconds.  Immediately, I began thinking about how I could utilize this not only with my staff and students, but with my parents as a new eFACE strategy.
Earlier tonight, we held our fourth Web Home & School Meeting 2.0, in which we broadcasted the monthly meeting to engage a greater cross section of our school families.  During the meeting, we added a section on the agenda for virtual discussion and used Pollanywhere for the first time.  We panned away from the group shot of the meeting and posted the poll on the main screen for the first time.   The parents in attendance, both physically and virtually, figured out right away how to share their input.  Within seconds, the realtime poll screen was displaying input from our recent Fall Festival.  (See image).  We all watched with great interest as the percentages increased for each of the responses offered within the poll.
To solicit feedback from our families, it literally takes a few minutes of entering a question and a few sample responses.  You can choose from multiple choice or open response depending on the feedback you are looking to solicit.  The site provides a link to your polls to send them out via email blast as well.
Using this tool, schools can help families feel important and integral to the school happenings.  New ideas can formed and others can be enhanced.  Prent-child reading nights where cell phones are REQUIRED do not sound so crazy any longer.  Imagine the possibilities where students use these technology tools to assess their comprehension of a certain literary piece…
What are you waiting for?  Talk to your Home and School Association leaders and your family engagement team at your school.  Create a poll for your families and cast your line.  The information you reel in will validate what you do and uncover gaps you can fill down the road.  The students will be the benefactors of a greater sense of engagement between school and home.
Some other polls we created within just a few minutes for later use:
  • Is this your first Web Home and School Meeting? (Multiple choice)
  • What benefits do Web Home and School Meetings have for your family? (Open)
  • What family engagement effort helps your family stay connected? (Multiple choice)
  • What is your favorite Home and School event of the school year?
  • How can we strengthen our home-school connection throughout the school year?
  • What topics would you like to see covered on the Principal’s Report?
Questions? I can be reached at or send a tweet to @joe_mazza.
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  138. I am a parent and I think this is a great way to gather our opinions and take action quicker. It is easy to use too. I think as more and more parents and educators embrace technologically based ideas, the better the school experience is going to be, for both parents and children. I love that you continue to find new ways to keep parents involved.

  139. Joe I continue to be amazed at how you have embraced the concept of connecting with parents using technology. Your innovative ideas are responding to the greatest challenge that schools and parents have – communication. You have taken the use of tech with parents to another level by offering them ways to respond when their schedules or family commitments don’t allow their participation. Kudos to you and your parents for setting the direction!! Please continue to share your approach to working with parents. If you have any responses/reactions from a parent can you share?

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