I love Plickers! It was one of the first edtech tools that I started using, so I can’t believe I haven’t written about it yet. In a nutshell, Plickers is an interactive, multiple choice questioning tool. You can use it in so many different ways. I actually just discovered a new way to use it just before Thanksgiving Break.
I was introduced to Plickers by Laura Candler, and it is really the gateway to more advanced edtech tools. It is a tool that allows you to use technology with your students, but you only need one device: your phone or iPad. All the students need are a card that looks like this:
You can print the cards here or you can order them on Amazon here. I ordered them on Amazon because they weren’t very expensive ($20 for a set of 40 cards), and since they are laminated, I knew they would last longer. You can laminate the ones you print out, but you have to use a matte lamination sheet because the regular ones reflect light and it’s harder for your camera to pick up.
How to use Plickers:
You write a question and post it on the Plickers website. You create a class and assign each question to that class, so you can use this with small groups or multiple classes if you teach more than one class.
Each card is tied to one student, so when they see the question, they can answer it by holding up A, B, C, or D (you do this by holding the letter you want on top–in the above card, the student is showing answer choice B). This is what the students see on the board. This is called “Live View”:
You can see how each student responds right on your device. Students can see when you have their answer, but they can’t see what each individual says (My students like to be the first ones to get the checkmarks next to their names). If you want, you can show the bar graph of answers from the class as a whole.
A relatively new feature is the “scoresheet” page on the Plickers website. Here you can see how each student responded to a range of questions. The scoresheet makes it so easy to keep and organize data on your students’ progress.
I have used Plickers to collect information on students’ background knowledge in science, grammar practice, identifying author’s purpose, math review games; I can and have used it in every subject. I recently used it to create an interactive rubric for my students; they graded themselves using their Plickers card. So easy, and I have all of their information in one place to reference later.
My students also love Plickers. My 2nd and 5th graders both think of it as a game; my 2nd graders last year begged to practice grammar using Plickers. Shocking, I know. My 5th graders get excited every time I pull out the cards. That kind of student engagement is so nice to see as a teacher, and it requires very little time and few materials.
I highly recommend using Plickers if you haven’t already. It is so easy to use, and it is fun! If you still have questions, I recommend joining Laura Candler’s Plickers Facebook group. I am a member of the K-5 group; there is also a group for secondary teachers. You can post questions to the group and teachers with experience using Plickers will help you out. It has been a great place to get ideas about how to use Plickers more effectively and to help troubleshoot any problems you might be having.