I want to explore using a blog as a polling tool: to gather information from students and teachers about reading, research, and new media–what they read/use, why they like it, and what they would recommend to others. I would write a weekly question, such as What’s the best book you’ve read recently? What website(s) do you visit to get your news? What’s your favorite mobile app? Fun, simple weekly polls can be used to create/deepen relationships amongst students and adults at school, and the data from responses can be used for collection development and instructional ideas. Blogs would keep all of the responses organized in one spot and easily browsable for all visitors to the site. The polls would be categorized and archived.
What’s the best platform for polling? Undecided.
Using a library Facebook page would be easiest, because in my experience, most students and teachers already have Facebook accounts, and this means they could simply “like” my page and get my poll questions that way. They wouldn’t need to navigate to a separate website or blog to post (though this could mean increased traffic to my library site). Unfortunately, Facebook is blocked on Boston Public School computers, so they would have to participate outside of school time (or “illegally” via their smartphones). Twitter polls are a possibility too, though, like Facebook, comments are unmoderated. (With Facebook, comments can be removed. With Twitter, they can only be blocked as spam, and then the user is blocked forever . . .?)
For whole school participation, a blog would work better than a free PollEverywhere account, which limits its polls to 30 respondents (However, Poll Everywhere allows for anonymous comments, which means that sensitive or confidential questions can be asked. Anonymity is not possible on blogs, Facebook, or Twitter, unless people create an anonymous profile.)
Blogs that allow video comments are helpful for students who have writing disabilities or express themselves more effectively through speaking (Edublogs allows video comments in its Pro package; WordPress does not offer this feature).