I was at a keynote at the Academic Leadership Workshop (SKPolytech) earlier this spring where the speaker used Poll Everywhere to add interactive elements to her presentation. I was well aware of this project, as several of my colleagues had been working with the speaker to get this all up and running.
Frankly, I was prepared to be underwhelmed. I have used clickers before and didn't really imagine that I was in for a "wow, that is so cool" moment, but boy was I wrong.
The live display of data is impressive. To see the totals move as someone inputs their data is incredibly cool. To have immediate feedback from the audience either through a text or through a website is amazing and also simple (for both the presenter and for the participants). My favourite feature was the word cloud. The speaker asked us to describe what Saskatchewan Polytechnic means to us? It was incredible to watch as the word cloud formed and then dynamically changed as more people contribute their ideas. In a matter of moments you could see what was resonating with the audience. And words that you may have anticipated but noticed were missing or not as prevalent is also interesting to observe.
So... I took a huge risk. Normally copyright librarians are risk adverse, but I definitely do not embrace that sentiment in my teaching. I had a presentation the very next day and I thought that the word cloud would be the perfect way to determine the temperature of the audience on the issue of copyright compliance. So I taught myself how to use it!!!! In about 30 minutes. The software is highly intuitive and easy to use. It was also fun. And I received a lot of very positive, very enthusiastic feedback. I highly recommend it!