Poll Everywhere

--Poll your audience instantly during a class or live event!

Poll Everywhere is an interactive presentation tool that gathers instant feedback. Audience members can participate by sending messages, questions, or votes via text message, Twitter, or on the web. In the age of instant gratification, this tool works in real-time, allowing for instant results and reporting. Polls are customizable and charts update before your eyes as audience members cast their votes. Poll results display in a PowerPoint or Keynote presentation or a webpage widget, and can be downloaded to your computer with the click of a button. Compatible with presentation and spreadsheet software for Mac (Keynote, Numbers) and PC (PowerPoint, Excel) users to make results reporting easy. Poll Everywhere is a revolutionary Web 2.0 tool for educational and business settings and an update to the traditional, more costly clicker.


  • Special Features

    • Real-time voting results.
    • Audience members can participate via computer, Twitter, or smartphone (texting or web browser).
    • Completely web-based, so no software is required.
    • Users can choose "vibrant" designs for their polls and embed the polls directly into their slide presentation (PowerPoint or Keynote).

  • K-12 Strengths

    • Teachers can use Poll Everywhere to gather quick informal assessment data during a lesson or presentation--feedback about their lesson, what was learned, etc.
    • If students are worried about text-messaging fees, they can use the web browser on their smartphones to respond to a poll.
    • Multiple choice polls show up instantly as charts with percentages for each response.
    • Polls can also use open ended questions in which students respond freely (called "free text").
    • If a poll question doesn't have to be answered immediately, one can post the poll on a widget embedded in a website.
    • A few polls can be grouped together into a brief survey that can be completed via web or smartphone.
    • Most K-12 teachers will be able to use in all of their classrooms for FREE, as long as they have 32 students or fewer in each class. There is no limit on the number of polls a teacher does, as long as there are 32 or fewer responses per poll.
    • Many teachers will not find it prohibitive to pay $50/year for an "individual teacher" plan that will allow them to monitor potentially inappropriate or off-topic responses before they go up on the "live text wall" during a class or presentation (with the help of an assistant) and to use Poll Everywhere for team-based classroom competitions.
    • Can automatically censor common profanities or inappropriate words.
    • In districts where cell phone use during school is prohibited, teachers can have class in a computer lab where students can respond to polls via computer rather than cell phone.
    • Privacy: students' identities and phone numbers will not show up on the screen during a poll. Teachers may use multiple polls to gather this information and then generate a report later that pairs student names with their responses, for grading purposes. (the first poll will ask students to send their names, and a second poll will gather the real data just a few minutes later).
    • Students can provide anonymous responses to sensitive topics.
    • Students can ask questions anonymously that they may be too shy to raise their hand and ask.
    • Can be used to brainstorm an idea anonymously so students will not be scared to share their most "out there" ideas.
    • Claims to work in low-signal areas.
    • Participants will never receive spam or text messages from Poll Everywhere.
    • More affordable, portable, and customizable than clickers.

  • K-12 Weaknesses

    • School librarians may want to poll the entire student body, rather than just one class, and even with a school-wide membership, only 80 responses are allowed for each poll. This would also present a barrier if a school wants to give a poll during a whole-school assembly.
    • Use of this technology in a class where not all students have access to a cell phone with unlimited texting may inadvertently stigmatize some students if they cannot participate or must use a classroom computer to do so.
    • Free account users do not have access to phone or email support; instead they must rely on the FAQ sections of the website if they run into problems. Individual K-12 teachers using the $50/year plan only have access to FAQ and email support, but not phone support.
    • Poll Everywhere doesn't specify how many answer options are allowed per multiple choice question. According to website graphics and text, the limit appears to be 3. We will test this potential issue over the coming weeks as we sign up for a free account.

  • Higher Education Notes

    • Higher education plans may be prohibitively expensive: an instructor must pay $399 per semester or have his/her students pay $14 each. However, this fee does include an unlimited number of students, phone and email support, and moderation, team grouping, and the ability to identify responses for grading.

Comparison to similar Web 2.0 tools

In comparison to similar Web 2.0 tools, Poll Everywhere seems to be the superior program. It offers the most features appropriate to users in a K-12 environment, and it is possible to use it successfully by taking advantage of the free account.

  • TextTheMob

  • Positive aspects:
    • engages audience members in the same way Poll Everywhere does
  • Negative aspects:
    • Audiences can only engage via text messaging
    • Service only available in the US
    • Only 3 questions per free account, with up to 50 allowed responses
    • On-screen advertisements allowed
    • Doesn't seem fit for an educational setting

  • Polldaddy

  • Positive aspects:
    • Online survey software similar to Poll Everywhere
    • Responses are collected via website, email, iPad, or iPhone
    • Users can create surveys in any language
    • Users may add images, videos, and content from YouTube, Flickr, Google Maps, and many more
    • Access to built-in wordpress.com support
  • Negative aspects:
    • Seems to be Apple exclusive in terms of wireless devices (iPad, iPhone only)
    • Choose between Free Account ($0), Pro Account ($200), or Corporate Account ($899). Prices reflect yearly costs.
    • 10 questions/survey or quiz; 100 responses/month

  • SMSPoll

  • Positive aspects:
    • Audience members may participate via computer or mobile phone
    • Results are updated and displayed in real-time on your website or PowerPoint presentation
    • International access
    • Students and teachers can use
  • Negative aspects:
    • 15 votes/poll; 300 votes/month for free access - would make it difficult to use free accounts in an educational setting

  • Twitter

  • Positive aspects:
    • No restriction on number of responses to a poll--just provide a hashtag for students to use.
    • Audience members may participate via computer or mobile phone.
    • Best used for open-ended questions and responses.
    • Free with downloaded software for cell phone or computer.
    • Twitter feed can be embedded as a widget in a webpage; but not in a PowerPoint or Keynote slide.
  • Negative aspects:
    • Teacher or librarian cannot monitor student tweets before or after they are posted to a live screen or Twitter feed.
    • No structure pre-designed for multiple choice pools; no graphing of results; only linear micro-blogging format.
    • No result reports or analytics that can identify which students posted to Twitter feed (for grading).
    • Does require all respondents to download Twitter software.

Learning Connections

Activity One: The “wow factor”: Live multiple choice polling in math class
Elementary, Mathematics class, Grade 5

Activity Two: Anonymity and sensitive topics: Free text polling in ELA class
Secondary, English class, Grade 8


How to sign up for Poll Everywhere and begin using your free account and its basic features instantly. (oops, we spelled "Richie" wrong.)

Note: We used Screenflow (screencasting software for Macs) to make this video rather than Jing.

References, Articles, etc.


Eisele-Dyrli, Kurt. "Mobile goes mainstream: a more broadly accepted concept than ever, the arrival of ubiquitous mobile learning in K12 is well under way. " District Administration. 47.2 (Feb 2011): 46(8). General OneFile. Gale. Massachusetts Board of Library Comm. 5 Mar. 2011.

This article highlights the ways mobile devices such as SmartPhones and iPads are being used to revolutionize classrooms across the nation. Poll Everywhere is used as an example of an application that is accessible to teachers and allows for student response during and after lessons are taught.

Byrne, Richard. "OMG! Texting in class? SMS messaging's cool for school with these polling apps. " School Library Journal. 57.3 (March 2011): 16(1). General OneFile. Gale. Massachusetts Board of Library Comm. 5 Mar. 2011.

In this article, two polling services (Poll Everywhere and Text the Mob) are reviewed as Web-based tools that allow students are parents to participate in classroom learning.