Thursday, November 20, 2014

Handy New Features On Plickers

Plickers is one of the most popular new tools that I have demonstrated in my workshops and presentations over the last five months. It has been a hit with teachers across all grade levels and subject areas.

Plickers uses a teacher's iPad or Android tablet in conjunction with a series of QR codes to create a student response system. Students are given a set of QR codes on large index cards. The codes are assigned to students. Each code card can be turned in four orientations. Each orientation provides a different answer. When the teacher is ready to collect data, he or she uses the Plickers mobile app to scan the cards to see a bar graph of responses.

This month Plickers added a couple of features that have been frequently requested by teachers. First, it is now easier than ever to find the link to print your own Plickers cards. The link is featured prominently in the header on every page of the Plickers website. Second, you can now expand or collapse the list of responses to your questions as they appear on your mobile device.

Applications for Education
Earlier this summer I outlined three ideas for using Plickers in classrooms. Those ideas are listed below.

1. Quickly taking the pulse of the class. Ask your students, "do you get this?" (or a similar question) and have them hold up their cards to indicate yes or no. You can do this with a saved class or a demo class in the app.

2. Hosting a review game. Create a series of questions in your saved Plickers classroom. To conduct the review have students hold up their cards to respond to each question. Every student gets to respond at the same time and you get to see how each student responded. This is an advantage over many review games in which only the first student to respond has his or her voice heard.

3. Take attendance. In a saved Plickers class each student has a card assigned to him or her. At the start of class just have them hold up their cards to check-in.