A while ago, I discovered through Pinterest this blog post about Plickers. Not wanting to get completely swept up in the hype, I held off trying them out until today.
After our Geography lesson on South America, I tried out a simple multiple choice quiz on the content we had just covered. My main goal was to try out the Plickers to see if they worked as well as the hype would suggest.
It was FUN!
To set it up, I needed to go to the Plickers website to download and print the Plickers (a paper barcode that is assigned to a student).
Here's one of my Plickers:
One of my students commented that it looked like something from Minecraft! You need to download the FREE app to your smartphone to assign each Plicker to a student. Then you teach them how to hold the Plicker while you scan the class with your phone. You may be able to see 13 (the number of the Plicker) and a small A, B, C and D. To answer with a Plicker, you simply hold the answer you want (A, B, C or D) at the top.
It was incredibly easy to scan the room with my phone, and it was also easy to see any students who didn't have them scanned in the first pass. All I had to do then was go back to that student and rescan.
After the session, I asked the class for feedback about the Plickers and if they would like me to use them again. Their feedback was a unanimous "Yes!" to using them again, they loved it! The whole class was engaged and motivated, and I was able to see straight away who understood and who needed more help.
One of my lovelies commented that it was like a game show, while others said they loved using the Plickers but the questions were hard.
Another noted that it was difficult to see the A, B, C and D on their Plicker. I had already had that thought, and looked at the Support page of the Plicker website. Here's their response:
Q: Why are the answers on the cards written so small? Can I get a larger print version?
A: We want you to have the most accurate data possible about what your students do and don't know, and we want your students to feel comfortable answering honestly. The small print of the answers and the unique shapes on each Plickers cards help protect students' privacy so they can answer your questions honestly without worrying about what their peers think of their answer. If you still think your class would benefit from a larger print version, please contact us!
The website is really user-friendly with excellent step-by-step instructions on how to use Plickers.
My only concern is that my phone crashed and shut down twice while I was using the app. Not sure what was happening, as it seemed to happen when I was using the camera to scan the room. Other than that, I was incredibly happy with my attempt to use Plickers with my class.
I was so excited about it, I bombarded my teaching partners and colleagues with overstimulated Bec-babble, trying to get across to them how awesome Plickers are!
I guess I have succumbed to the hype after all!