Flickers? Clickers? Plickers!

March 7, 2017

If you ask me, the best way to learn about anything concerning the classroom is to try it with your own students. When trying something new, I'm always completely honest with my them. I like modeling for them that failure does happen, there is a way to fix it, and you'll learn something from the experience. I like to include them in knowing that I'm trying something new because sometimes they're the ones who come up with the solutions. Plus, they're always completely honest when asked for feedback - especially 12- and 13-year-olds. 

 

I've been on the "student side" of Plickers before, but never the teacher. This idea came about because I was convinced that my students were not doing their reading homework. I'd ask basic comprehension questions about their homework, and I got blank faces in return. 

 

I found it relatively easy to use, and I would have to agree with a lot of what Common Sense Education says about Plickers. What took the longest was loading my students into their respective classes on the Plickers website. After that, the set up was easy. All I did was print the pre-designed Plicker cards on the website, get them laminated, and qued my questions by class. Out of my 83 students, there was only 1 minor hiccup all day. There is the downfall of only being able to assess with multiple choice and true/false questions. For my purposes, though, it worked perfectly. The other thing I really like is how each Plicker card is rotated a different direction - reduces the chances of cheating. It was also a very smooth transition between the website and the scanning portion on my iPad. 

Plickers set up in two minutes

 

Even if this is considered a "low tech" option, my students loved this activity. I asked each class their opinions on Plickers, and each class said they liked it and the day after, asked if we could use them again. Some of them liked it so much, they didn't care that I confirmed what I thought was true - they didn't do their reading homework. Which, that's half the battle, right? Keeping them engaged and doing an activity they like. With that being said, I'd recommend Plickers to anyone who wants a quick way to assess students on a low budget. If you have any kind of smart device and a printer, you're good to go. 

My second period students - they've been asking when they can use them again!

 

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