Poll Everywhere: Text & Online Audience Voting


Students today are attached at the hip to their cell-phones, so why fight it? Instead, Poll Everywhere allows teachers to utilize this student connectivity to engage students in the classroom. With Poll Everywhere, teachers can create either multiple choice or open-ended polls and then use them directly through the website or embed them in PowerPoint and Keynote. Polls can be customized. Students then text their responses to the poll, and the poll displays responses in real time. These polls are perfect for quick classroom assessments that engage students  or checking for understanding after a particularly difficult concept.
Educators can create as many polls as they want. The initial service is free for K-12 educators, offering a maximum of 40 responses per poll. For classrooms of more than 40 students, educators can specially request a larger poll. For $50 a year, educators receive feedback on each student and can assign grades per poll response. For educators working with students who do not all have access to phones or text messaging services, there are a couple of options. For students who do not have text messaging, they can still vote by accessing the internet (school computers, etc.). If this is not an option, students who do have access can share allowing voting in groups.

For information about rating scales, click here

Resource Overall Poor ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ Excellent
Student Response  Negatively ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆ Positively
Repeatability  Unlikely ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ Highly Likely
Ease of Use  Difficult ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ Easy
Set-Up Time  Short ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ Lengthy
Tech Skills  Basic ★ ½ ☆ ☆ ☆ Expert


Camille Gammon-Hittelman
Baltimore, Maryland

I decided to use this resource for our Student Council election. We voted both with paper ballots and through a pilot program with Poll Everywhere. I had three 4th grade classes and one 1st grade class try the online resource. Because only 40 responses are allowed per poll, I set up a separate poll for each class and titled it with the classroom teacher’s name so we could look at the results and compare them to the paper ballots. I also created a PowerPoint slide of the paper ballot, and included the numbers for each candidate under their names. That way the students could just type in the voting number for the candidate of their choice. The 4th grade students voted on classroom laptops and the 1st grade students voted on iPads.

The kids seemed to figure the process out easily. There were a couple of kids who had a hard time using the iPads, as you had to touch a certain area to get the keyboard to appear. This caused some students to hit “enter” rather than “Submit Response,” causing a few votes not to be cast. I found it was easier for the students to understand that you type in the number for the candidate, rather than the name. The teachers who I tried this out with ahead of time didn’t understand what to do.

Lisa Schell
Quarryville, Pennsylvania

I have no doubt that this is a useful tool in most subjects that do not require an equation editor or even for lower level mathematics. However, my goal was to use this resource as a summarization technique. I found that it was not terribly convenient for the chapter that I was working with in mathematics (rational polynomials). Like many other resources of this type it does not have a nice equation editor and therefore makes displaying the questions and answers within the resource more difficult. I ended up typing the questions in proper form in PowerPoint to display them to the students.

This limits the potential for use. I can’t use it to assign a few homework problems and then review only those with which the majority of the students had issues without giving the students a handout to accommodate the format of the equations.


  • When setting up the poll, you have to choose whether you want each IP address to be able to vote once or multiple times. If you are having students vote on shared computers, you must choose the multiple voting option. I did this for 3 of the polls but forgot for 2 of them. However, it was an easy fix (30 seconds) and the students were able to vote.
  • Make sure you correlate the voting number to the answer options. The online poll response page doesn’t give you a visual other than a box where you type in the number. If you are texting your answer in, then you have no problem.
  • Avoid using this with questions that require symbols or equations.
One Response to “Poll Everywhere: Text & Online Audience Voting”
  1. Hello, I’m Vinnie Ciaravino, an employee at Poll Everywhere and I’d like to thank Camille Gammon-Hittelman, Lisa Schell and any future reviewers for their reviews!

    Lisa Schell mentioned the lack of equation support (LaTeX) made it difficult to use for math classes. We agree! We’re actually rolling out some really cool new features in the coming weeks and equation support is actually included!

    We really value the honest reviews and hope through hearing your candid experiences, we can find new ways to improve Poll Everywhere.

    Poll Everywhere

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: