What is it?
An app that I have been using for a while is Plickers, an in all honesty it is a fabulous app! Plickers, is an engaging way to assess what the children in your class have learned from pretty much any lesson. Plickers is a free app that can be downloaded onto an Apple or Android device. It’s an easy and engaging way for teachers and pupils to receive instant feedback on their responses.
How does it work?
Each child is assigned a number and a unique card with a 4-sided geometric shape on it, which resembles a QR code. The number is assigned to them in the Plickers system and each side of the shape represents a multiple choice or true/false answer choice.
Students simply turn their card to the letter A, B, C, or D while the teacher uses the quick-to launch Plickers app to simultaneously scan the cards through the lens of his or her smartphone camera. Instantly, pupil’s answers load right to your screen! Recording answers of an entire class takes seconds, and the cards can be scanned from almost anywhere in the room!
The online component of Plickers is simple yet powerful, just like the app. When the teacher clicks on Live View to load student answers to your computer in real time. If you have an interactive whiteboard or projector, you can allow your class to see their answers in real time. The online component also allows you to create questions, view previous poll results, or browse the help menu to find an answer to your question.
What do you need to do?
After entering the quiz questions and answers into the system, you’re ready to give you’re your class the quiz! Using your smartboard project the Plickers site and pull up each question one at a time using Live View. When it is time to answer the question, students hold up their card with their answer choice on the top side of the card. The teacher then uses a phone or tablet to scan the room. The teacher is then provided with immediate feedback with each student’s answer, whether it was correct or not, how many kids got it right, etc. I’ll be honest, it still amazes me!
Since the app is dependent on student cards, I photocopied the Plicker card and there is a copy of it at the back of every child’s book for every different subject. . You could easily print the cards (available on the website) and use them instantly, but if you are planning on using these long-term, you may want to make several sets.
How can I use it in the classroom?
Instant Questions: This is perhaps the most obvious use for Plickers. Ask a multiple-choice or true/false question and instantly get class feedback.
Voting: Another obvious convenience. Having a class vote? Or a class/school survey for pupil voice groups? Gone are the days of tallying raised hands. Just pull out your tablet and scan the room. Children can only vote once.
Entrance and Exit Tickets: Need a quick way to check prior knowledge or lesson comprehension? It’s as easy as asking a multiple-choice question.
Checking In: During your lesson you can get children to reflect and check in on their personal performance. Again, I scan their choice and see who feels they are giving their best and who feels like they are in a rut.
Quizzes: Got a quiz that you want instantly graded? Plickers gives you the option of having a right answer for every question you create.
Overall, I have had a wonderful experience using this app in my classroom. Students now use their Plickers for formal and informal assessment activities in my classroom regularly. Another benefit is that by allowing pupils to respond by rotating their Plicker card it takes away any pressure of getting the answer right. By using cards the teacher can get the feedback and intervene in an almost instantaneously. I believe that it helps me to individualise student learning because I have quick data accessible at a moment’s notice to ensure students have truly mastered the material reviewed.
Thanks for Reading!