Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Use Doodle to Cast Your Vote

Trying to plan a time to meet friends at the Annual Convention in San Antonio? Want the class to choose a destination for the next field trip? Need to choose the best day for an after-school committee or club meeting?

No matter what you’re trying to decide, Doodle is a free online tool that makes it easy to gather preferences from teachers, students, families, and anyone else you want to connect to. Whether you need to schedule an event or choose among several general options, you can use Doodle to accomplish what you want simply.

So how does it work?

  1. Go to the Doodle website.
  2. Create a login (or login if you are already set up.
  3. Choose either to schedule an event or set up a poll.
  4. Name your survey and enter all the options.
  5. Click finish.
  6. Check your email for a link to the survey.
  7. Send the link out to everyone you want to respond.

That’s it. Doodle does all the tallying for you. People who respond do not need to set up an account or even have an email address. Just give them the URL. That’s all that’s needed—which makes it a nice choice for school systems where students cannot post personal information online.

When your survey is complete, you can print out the results or export them to a spreadsheet or PDF.

Wondering how you might use it? The options really are extensive. You might schedule any of these events:

  • Convention, affiliate, or assembly meetings
  • Student-teacher or parent-teacher conferences
  • After-school study sessions
  • Teacher inquiry/study group meetings
  • Committee or departmental meetings
  • Professional development workshops
  • Extra-curricular meetings or special events

The Poll tool in Doodle can be used for anything students might vote for in the classroom:

  • Literature circle texts
  • Collaborative research topics
  • Name for a class pet
  • Class rules
  • Expectations for an assignment (class-generated rubrics)
  • Field trip destination
  • Next read-aloud text
  • Favorite characters, texts, or authors
  • Movie to watch at a class party

Doodle can help with any decision you need to make. If you can state the options, you can use Doodle to gather opinions and come to a conclusion. Because the tool is Internet-based, it’s perfect for distance ed and online courses as well as for finding ways for colleagues spread across a region, the nation, or the world.

If you have Internet access, you can cast your vote with Doodle!