Oct 192010

Why use iVoted?

  • Realtime Polling
  • Easy to use
  • Multiple Ways to Answer
  • Simple to Manage
  • User Friendly
via ivoted.com

UPDATE: Please take a look at the comments below before you decide whether or not to try iVoted.

This looks very similar to Poll Everywhere, but without any educational pricing or options, is it a viable alternative, or just a carbon copy? I do like the fact that you can use email to vote – and most students will have access to email in a computer lab or on a smart phone if they have that. 

Poll Everywhere does provide a free account for K-12 educators and is, right now, the best system out there for you to at least TRY using Student Response Systems in your instruction. If it works well for you, then upgrade your account or look at trying to get a dedicated system to use for instant formative feedback in your class. SMART, Promethean and other interactive white board providers make available.

Now, if I can only find an alternative to TextMarks

  5 Responses to “iVoted – Alternative to Poll Everywhere, or worse?”

  1. Hi Clint. I’m Jeff, one of the founders of Poll Everywhere. Sadly, iVoted.com is a plagiarized knockoff of Poll Everywhere. Their reliability and product quality should be severely questioned. Please see a fellow blogger’s reaction:http://www.edutechintegration.com/2010/11/removal-of-blog-post.htmlThe side-by-side is just pitiful.http://dl.dropbox.com/u/113538/iVoted_imitation.pdfWe want competition, not cheap imitation. The ONLY thing they added was the vote-by-email. There are literally hundreds of features we offer that they do not.If you’re looking for respectable companies that are viable alternatives (who didn’t cheat off their neighbor) please see textthemob.com, ezuku.com, or quickieq.com.Also, you mentioned TextMarks. Hopefully you noticed that iVoted is built on the leftover scraps of keywords on TextMarks.

  2. Jeff,Thanks so much for taking the time to respond to my post. I absolutely love your service and share it with educators every chance I get. I used it in a training that I did just yesterday, in fact. Also, I must thank you for providing a mechanism for K-12 teachers to use your site for free. The reason that I bring up alternatives to the many great and free sites like yours is two-fold: First, it seems that many of these once-free sites move away from offering their service for free. Jott and TextMarks are recent examples that come to mind.It’s completely understandable – you need to make a living, but for teachers – especially here in Utah – there is absolutely no budget for services like this. Typically, teachers get around $120/year to spend on ALL of their classroom resources and materials. We’ll use a service as long as it remains free, and then have to change course once the service goes paid.Second, if these services don’t move to a paid model, they simply stop offering the service altogether. GabCast & Google Wave are in this situation. It’s hard enough to get some teachers to work to change their curriculum and integrate these tools into their instruction, but then if it simply goes away, frustration builds and they don’t have the time or patience to seek out a replacement. They revert back to what they know – pencil and paper.My post was not a resounding endorsement for your ‘competitor’. It does seem that they are standing on your shoulders. However, if you all ever DO decide to go away from offering a K-12 or free account, I need to have an alternative for the 90+ schools and hundreds of teachers that I work with.I know that you understand our situation based on simply offering free accounts for K-12 teachers. Thanks again for that, and the great service you are enabling for our teachers. I’ll leave the link on my site for now, but I will urge readers to take a look at our exchange as well.

  3. Hi Clint -Thanks so much for being a champion for us and spreading the word. We wouldn’t survive if not for fans like you. Just for background, I taught high school technology. I was the CIO of a school district, and my wife is the principal of a school with the thinnest of budgets.I’m all for alternatives – That’s why I listed some for you that have done their own product development without direct plagiarism. What you suggested is a bit of a catch 22: If sites go to a full-paid model, many teachers abandon them and do not pay. The site has a bigger chance of dying (for example, Google Wave was killed for lack of traction). Remaining teachers switch to free alternatives. Then the alternatives die. On and on. By the way, notice this assumes a teacher is never able to pay any price, whether out of pocket or out of school provided funds or grants – and that’s not totally accurate. Just ask the clicker companies that will sell you one classroom’s worth of clickers for $1400.Hopefully we’ll be able to continue to make enough revenue off other customer segments like corporations, and the teachers can continue to benefit with useful free versions. But if you want us to not die, we think you shouldn’t even validate knock offs with a mention. Instead, compare the innovators. We’ve tracked 30 sites (I just emailed you the list) that basically do SMS voting of some sort since we launched in July 2007, and yes, many of them have died, especially when they are just a side project like iVoted.com is. With Poll Everywhere, you can call or email for help and be taken care of by intelligent people based in the US who do nothing but work on Poll Everywhere. We’re 6 full time people who passionately craft this product as our life’s work. With that pride, we have to look down on direct, flagrant imitators the same way you would look down on any yahoo who decided to just copy-paste your blog posts in a different font, use a couple synonyms, and start marketing themselves to the Utah schools SEDC serves.My goal isn’t as much for you to take the link down as it is to convince influencers like you that iVoted.com as it stands today is an unethical project, tantamount to stealing, and people should not even grace it with their interest. If they were to get serious about changing the pricing, wording, marketing, and other user experience things clearly ripped directly from us (keep the features: we do them better anyway), I would footnote or retract the things I’ve posted about them.PS: We are a couple blocks from Posterous. We went through Y Combinator together; we’re very good friends with Sachin and Garry. FWIW, they agree with us that projects like iVoted.com are cheap frauds and should be reviled.

  4. Jeff,Thanks again for the exchange. I agree – it IS a catch 22… Sadly, it’s at times easier for teachers/principals/districts to feel good about buying a physical product (even at $1,400 per classroom) that they can stick an inventory tag on than to pay for a service. I don’t think that it’s right, but that seems to be the reality – at least here in Utah. Teachers also have the opportunity to write classroom grants, but most already have too much on their plates.They way I approach your free model with teachers is to PLEASE just give it a try. If it clicks and works for you (the teacher) and you need more than what the free plan provides, then by all means find a way to pay for a subscription. It’s a way for reluctant teachers to at least dip their toes into polling and instant feedback. The worse alternative could be the proactive school or district that just puts that $1,400+ system into all classrooms. Some teachers will pick it up and run, but then there is the teacher that is either not ready or does not want it, and it collects dust.I’ll remove the links to iVoted. Folks can Google it if they are curious. I’ll also keep your list of alternatives in case I work with folks that don’t like your service (I guess that IS possible) or need a different solution.Thanks again for your time and insight.

  5. Hi Clint – Thanks. This way, you’re informing those who care to investigate, but not rewarding the jackals with what we refer to as "SEO link juice". It’s a great compromise.Jeff

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