ActiVote Walkthrough Part 1

At my visit to Musselburgh Grammar this morning, I spoke to some of the maths department about using Activote. They were enthusiastic about the potential of the technology, but said something like "it looks easy as you stand there and explain it, but we'll forget everything you've said by the time we next come to use it".

So.... to provide a bit of backup, here's a step by step guide to using Activote with your class.

The following assumes that the voting pads have been registered with your PC. If not, chase up IT!

Setting up the User Database

You'll want your pupil names to be stored in the system, so that their names appear at the top of the screen when you run a vote. Here's how....

In East Lothian, we have a problem - we don't have write-access to the place on the C drive where the user database is stored! To get around this, we need to copy the default user database to somewhere that is writeable, then tell ACTIVStudio that we've done so:

  • In ACTIVStudio, go to ACTIVote/user database. You should see this (click image to enlarge):

user database dialogue

  • Go to File/Save as and save the user database into subjects/maths/staff

  • Go to Activote/Settings, and change the ACTIVote User Database to the file you just copied

Importing Pupils into the User Database

Before you can import pupils into your user database, you need to export them from whatever electronic record you currently use. This is relatively easy from either Excel or Filemaker:

  • export the following columns to a "CSV" file: first name, surname, register class

  • In ACTIVStudio, go back into ACTIVote/user database.

  • Go to File/import and choose the CVS file that you just made. This dialogue will appear:

import dialogue

  • By clicking on the red headings, you can tell ACTIVote which fields are which, then import

The newly imported pupils appear at the bottom of the left hand side scrolling window.

  • Double click on folder to change them to teacher names

  • Double click on sub folders to change them to class names

  • Drag over the pupils and click on the arrow to move them into the classes

You now have a user database that all staff in the department can access.  Just make sure that everyone changes their ACTIVote settings to point to the new user database.

The importing section of what we just did is covered excellently here at PrometheanPlanet.

Coming in Part Two.....

  • Setting up a flipchart to vote with a particular class

  • Classroom routines

  • Running adhoc votes (my favourite!) the terror-free way

  • Creating pre-prepared votes

  • Using ACTIVote for formative assessment (the whole point of the exercise!)

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