Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Plickers


Plickers is a free resource that works well for classrooms that do not have an abundance of technology. Even classrooms that are in a 1:1 technology scenario can benefit as there are frequent times that student devices fail, aren't assigned to new students, or the teacher just needs to mix things up.

In the picture above, Plickers is being used with about 40-50 middle school kids in my church's youth group to review content, as well as drive some discussion. The instant feedback allows issues and discussion topics to arise. This is especially handy in scenarios where you need to get to know your audience. A presenter cannot assume too much.

My principal at Wayne Center Elementary, Ms. Karen Gandy, used it to poll staff on their feelings about the progress they have made this year as a staff. These questions helped the entire staff know how they were feeling as everyone had a voice, and it was kept completely anonymous.

How a Plickers Session Works


Materials you'll need:

Creating Classes

Once you create your Plickers account, you'll need to create some classes. In order to keep data separated, I highly recommend making several classes for various purposes. As a former fourth grade teacher, I would consider even making a different class for each assessment I run and then archiving them when I'm finished. This will ensure that the data does not get intermingled with multiple sessions.


Question Library

The purpose of the library is so that you can recycle questions and assign them to multiple classes. In the library, teachers can create new questions or utilize old ones to build an assessment or poll. Items in the library can also be archived for later use to reduce the amount of clutter in your library. 



(Update 5/16/2015)

Plickers recently added the ability to add images to the questions. Adding images not only broadens the capability of questioning, but it also makes it more accessible for struggling readers or primary students.


Reports

Teachers and presenters can use the reports feature to go back and analyze data. This data could be used to further instruction, guide discussion, or refine the way their material is presented. 


I highly recommend using Plickers to start a discussion. Just try one question to get a feel for how your students feel on a topic. It gives all students a voice.