Poll Everywhere

Some people claim to have ESP – extra sensory perception – essentially the ability to read other people’s minds. I used to think that these people were all “wacko-nut-jobs” … in the same class as psychics and tarot card readers. (Am I being politically incorrect here?) #ClosedMinded #Intolerant

OK, so maybe now I can never run for political office. Or maybe now I’m finally fully qualified to do so. (Am I being politically incorrect here, again?)

It turns out that there are actually people who can read other people’s minds. They’re researchers at CMU doing it using MRI machines. I saw it on 60 Minutes recently. Use the 60 Minutes app to watch the 11/24/19 episode titled “How MRI Scans Are Showing Scientists the Physical Makeup of …”. Lesley Stahl does an incredible interview / profile!

OK, so science fiction is literally becoming science fact. That said, I’ve found a way to do virtually the same thing (reading people’s minds) without using MRI machines and you can too. No, I’m not a psychic. I wish!

Instead, I’ve discovered an app called Poll Everywhere. Once you understand how it works (and if you really think about it), this is as close to magic as anything you’ve ever experienced. Check this out:

  1. Go to www.polleverywhere.com and create your account. Then you can create virtually any type of poll question for any type of audience. My favorite poll options are the multiple choice (AKA voting) questions and the “word clouds”. That said, there are 20 other types of polls. So many great choices …
  2. These poll questions can be directly embedded into your PowerPoint, Keynote (Apple) or Google slides.
  3. When a poll question slide appears on the screen, the corresponding question appears simultaneously on audience members’ phones WITHOUT them having to install an app. Instead, all they have to do (on just your first poll question) is to type a short address in their browser, something like www.pollev.com/dcg (which in my polls nominally stands for Dialog Consulting Group, my company name). That puts the matching question and the possible responses directly on their phones. Magic!
  4. As they answer, their answers appear live (individually and/or collectively) on your slide on the screen/monitor. MAGIC!

And that’s not even the most amazing part. Indeed, you (and everybody) can instantly see the collective wisdom of the crowd. It’s virtually ESP … or like having MRIs on everybody.

Consider this idea: In a first grade classroom, imagine that you’re teaching addition to your kids (side comment: if so, you’re obviously a saint doing something truly valuable for society and you deserved to be paid even more than rock stars based on your value to society, no offense to rock stars as I now need their votes having offended the physics and tarot card readers … and their respective PACs and lobbies earlier in this article).

Continuing … in the old days, you might have asked your students. “What’s 2+2?”. After most everybody’s hand’s shot up, you’d call on just a single student who would answer, “4.” Or more likely, they’d answer “3” and then “5” before someone else would chime in with “4.” (You might have noticed that I have no fear of offending first graders or their PACs as they have no money and they can’t vote yet. If I do run for office, it will be in less than 11 years, before they turn 18 and matter). Whoops: #MomsHateMeNow

Sorry … too many asides. The point is that one or two of the first graders would get the opportunity to actually learn, rather than all of them. Poll Everywhere can change that. Everybody can participate and learn accordingly.

Sorry … another aside: Kahoot is very similar to Poll Everywhere. I’m totally vendor agnostic, arguing for process over vendor. I get paid the same amount whichever one you use. 😉

Whoops, I just used an emoticon in this column. That’s almost as bad as using an emoji J. Now I’ve lost the baby boomer demo and their many, many PACs. #Unelectable!

Back to Poll Everywhere (and/or Kahoot) (so hard to stay focused these days): Next time you’re having a company meeting, why not literally see what everybody thinks by running a live, interactive poll? What a great idea you have there!

Another aside: Have you noticed how people (and here I mean the millennials) are literally using the word “literally” incorrectly? For example, you’ll hear them say, “This Poll Everywhere thing is so amazing that my head literally exploded.” Obviously, that’s not … like … literally true. Whoops. #LostTheMillennialVote. Alas. JJJ

In closing, here’s my Poll Everywhere (or Kahoot) question for you (please click an answer now on your smartphone screen):

Should Dave be elected POTUS 2020? (select a choice below)

  1. Yes

Thank you for your support!

Leave a Reply