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What is a Voting System?

With a voting system, each student gets a handset and can feedback views, answers or data to a receiver and software on your computer. Simple systems are a bit like the audience poll on “Who wants to be a millionaire?” .

More sophisticated versions allow the user to type free text and numbers.

The software records the students’ responses. It produces and can present reports, graphs and marksheets.


What Can a Voting System do?

With a voting system, you can:

  • involve a whole class in questions and answers;
  • get instant responses;
  • produce graphs and charts of responses;
  • measure response times;
  • set up sequences, presentations and quizzes within lessons.

What Do You Get?

A typical system comes with:

  • a number of handsets (8, 16, 24, 32);
  • software to make questions and connect with the hardware.


How Can You Use Them?

The only limit to their use is your imagination. They probably work best in small doses. For example:

  • formative assessment;
  • summative assessment (with care) – quick quiz;
  • quick feedback on verbal questions;
  • polling of views – on a story, pieces of work, current affairs et al;
  • emotional wellbeing – confidential instant measure of how children are feeling.

What is Available?

There are a few systems on the market. Some of these are:

  • Activote (Promethean)
  • ACTIV-Expression (Promethean)
  • Genee Pad
  • Ombea
  • Optivote
  • Powervote
  • Qwizdom
  • RM Easi-respond
  • Smart Response

  • Turning Technologies ResponseCard

Are They All the Same?

No. They have different features which may suit your needs and desires. Things to look out for are:

  • The symbols on each voting button. They may be letters, numbers or symbols.

  • Does it have free text input or only multiple choice?
  • size of handset
  • right/wrong feedback on handset
  • import of powerpoint and export to Excel
  • will it run as a toolbar (in verbal mode)
  • response time measurement
  • charting features
  • price.

How Much Do They Cost?

It varies between systems and on the number of handsets. A 32 handset system costs between £500 and £2000.

Software Based Response Systems

With mobile devices becoming more popular and ICT suites offering one-to-one pupil access to computers, many response system companies are now making software versions which allow you to vote from your existing technology, eg a netbook, laptop, ipod or even desktop computer. This saves you the need for dedicated voting hardware. Example of software based systems include:

  • Promethean ACTIV-Engage
  • Smart Response CE
  • Turning Technologies ResponseWare

Using iPod or iPads

A number of apps are available that can turn your set of iPod Touch or iPads into a response system. These vary in price and functionality and some include systems for delivering content to all the devices in your classroom. Examples include:

  • Socrative
  • eClicker
  • Nearpod

Try it for Yourself

There is a loan system available from the Hertfordshire Development Centre. Contact Chris Carter if you would like to try it out in your school.



For more information or help, please contact Chris Carter at Herts for Learning.

Tel: 01438 843918