Would You Rather Use an App?

Have you ever voted on Wishbone? This app takes you into the world where there’s no middle ground. The only thing you do is choose between two options. Every question makes you compare two things and quickly indicate your preference with a single tap.

It sounds limited and limiting, but I see people spend quite some time binge-voting. I suppose it could be quite addictive, especially if you begin to follow celebrities and friends. The app is definitely populated heavily by very young users. Like any social media platform, there are dangers and stressors. Some of the public polls are shallow with their attention on famous people and their fashion or personal lives. But other questions are fun to consider, such as, would you rather watch the summer Olympics or the Winter Olympics? or Would you rather text or call?

We might consider engaging our students through Wishbone polls. Users not only vote, but they also can create their own questions. Once you give the app access to your camera, a host of options is possible. The app also has a library of online images to choose from. Most questions begin with “Would you rather…” or WYR for short.

Ideas to consider:

  • Short reports. Students can vote on 2-3 public polls and share a report with you or the whole class. Target a structure like “would rather” or “would prefer”: One poll asked if you’d rather drink iced tea or hot tea. Twenty people would prefer iced tea. Five would rather have hot tea. The use of full sentences helps reinforce standard grammar and spelling, which sometimes is lacking on Wishbone. The polls also pair nicely with comparative forms: better, more than, not as much as, etc.
  • Poll and report. At the start of the week, students can create a poll of their own to share with the class. Students must vote on each question. Examples: WYR have a picnic or a fancy dinner? What’s better, a private school or a public school? At the end of the week, students can report their poll results. Note: To share their polls, students would need a master list with everyone’s usernames. Private conversations are also possible.
  • Springboard into a discussion. Some polls lends themselves very naturally to discussion. For instance, from the category “Which are you?” – Do you observe first or do something immediately? In pairs or small groups, students can explain their choices with a specific example of their behavior. Other questions do not require students to open up as much, but they still prompt explanation. I found one poll that asks: Are you silly or serious in pictures?
  • Follow-up to a discussion or reading. Teachers can create a private poll after a classroom discussion. For example, students can vote on a favorite character in a film or choose a side after a debate.
  • On-the-spot reports. With the app open, students can quickly find different polls to comment on. The goal would be to incorporate target expressions. This would be an option for more advanced students:
    – Far more people would rather get lost in a city rather than the woods.
    – The overwhelming majority of voters would choose to fly rather than have invisibility.
    – A surprising number of people would choose to live in a cave as opposed to a cabin.
    – 50 people voted for winter sports. Not nearly as many chose summer sports.

    Got ideas of your own? Please share.

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