I can still remember the first time I tried a clicker response system. I was sitting in a presentation about a clicker system in Jonah Albertson's room, and as I learning about the small piece of plastic in my hands, I was excited by the possibilities. I could assess my students' learning on the fly with the press of a button. I could graph the responses on the screen to have my students discuss the merits of their answers. I could collect the data I needed quickly and efficiently. The world assessment and data was open before me. I can also still remember the profound disappointment I felt when I learned that the system was over $1,000, not to mention the cost of periodically replacing over 100 batteries. My excitement slipped away, but the hope of quickly and easily collecting classroom data stayed. Other options showed up over the years - PollEverywhere, Socrative, and InfuseLearning are amazing systems every teacher should know about - but they all required technology that was not immediately available. Recently, I learned about Plickers, short for paper clickers, a tool that allows you to use simple QR-style codes and a single iOS or Android device with internet access to easily and quickly collect responses from your students for free.
For more information on how to use this tool in the classroom, click on read more below.
To start using Plickers in your classroom, go to plickers.com and click on "Sign In" in the top right corner to create a free account. Once you have logged in, click on "Add a new class" to create a class, give it a name, and start typing your students' names into the box. Each student will be assigned a number to identify which plicker card they need to use. You will only need one set of the cards - available by clicking here - for all of your classes, but the students should use the same card number each time.
You will only need to print one set of the cards - available by clicking here - for your classes, but the students should use the same card number each time. You can print the cards on paper or cardstock, but be aware that if you laminate them, you may have problems with glare. Download the app on your device, sign in to your account to access the classes you've created, and follow the prompts to create your first question. Plickers is designed for multiple choice questions with four options, and the students respond by holding their plicker card with the side corresponding to their answer on top. Tap the camera icon on the bottom of the screen in the app to start collecting your students' responses.
As you move the camera around the room, the app will detect the cards your students are holding up and overlay the student and the response on the screen so you know which answers have been collected. Students can change their response by rotating their card and having it scanned again. The app stores each student's response and provides a graph of the results. If you have a TV or SmartBoard connected to your computer, you can use the website to show the students whether or not their answer has been accepted and to show the graph of the responses.
Plickers is a great tool to use when you are looking to collect data on quick, teacher-paced questions. Because you don't need to input the question or the answer choices, your questions can be planned in advance and incorporated into a presentation or they can be asked off-the-cuff. Some possible uses include:
Enhancing 21st Century Learning
The impact of Plickers on a student's 21st century skills largely depends on how it is incorporated into the lesson. For example, if Plickers are used as part of a classroom debate where students use the cards to rate their feelings on a topic over time, then it can have a significant impact on the students' communication as they work to persuade their classmates to their point of view.
Post by Tony Harman | High School Instructional Coach
This will be a resource built by the staff for the staff to encourage integration of 21st century skills into every student's learning.