Skip to main content

Plickers - a plucky little number.

I am not sure who first mentioned @plickers to me but I am so glad that they did.  Plickers  "is a powerfully simple tool that lets teachers collect real-time formative assessment data without the need for student devices".  So with the touch of the camera icon on your iPad you can find out exactly what your students know (or perhaps more importantly, what they don't know) and build your next lesson plans accordingly.  I have already talked here about how to cope with just one iPad in a class and here about using technology to enhance assessment for learning.  So Plickers is the perfect tool to meet the needs of the one iPad class and will certainly tick some AFL boxes.

It really is so simple to use  if you follow the guidelines on the support page on the website.  Print yourself a set of cards that look like this (trust me - do not laminate them):

Each of the numbered cards has a different code on it and is labelled on each side with an A, B, C or D.  These letters represent the answers to the questions that you input and then display on the whiteboard. Here's the recent "live view" from a year 8 class studying the weather. 

As you can see the simple phrase that needs translating has four possible answers.  At this point your students can decide upon their answer (in this case C) and hold up their card with its unique code with the letter C on the top.  Then the magic happens.  With your iPad you tap the camera icon and scan your students cards and quickly discover who has learnt the topic and who still has work to do.  Of course, it would be just as easy to ask for a quick show of hands, or mini whiteboards for that matter, to ascertain the same information.  However, what you can not do with a show of hands is build up a picture over a series of questions over a series of lessons.  With Plickers there is an easily accessible record of progress that looks like this for each question:

So, in all, there really is very little to dislike with Plickers.  The team are great and get back to you quickly if you have any problems.  I am certainly enjoying using the tool and have set up a number of classes with whom I can make the most of this tool.  Questions can be reassigned to different classes and true/false questions can be set as well. 

I thoroughly recommend you look into this app and have a go with it.  Once you start you will not turn back.  Let me know in the comment box below what you think.

Popular posts from this blog

Does education really need technology?

There may be many with a view on what makes for a good lesson.  Most would not argue with the ideas clearly expounded upon by Hattie and Yates (1) that a good lesson starts with an initial review of knowledge, moves on to a formal presentation, guided practice, initial feedback, independent practice and a follow-up review.  In terms of my own practice this is a model that I follow.  Not via any particular tools because I know that my target audience need variety and must not settle into any type of formulaic process.  Thus, I follow the steps but use different methods. Far be it for me to claim that this effective lesson cannot be achieved without technology.  Having started my teaching career over 20 years ago I know that it is possible to be an effective practitioner and deliver a lesson where progress is made using old-fashioned methods that may well have included some worksheets created on the trusty (rusty?) Banda machine.  Nor am I here to advocate that this process is more effe…

It's Quizlet - but not as we know it.

This past academic year I did not use my iPad in lessons as much as I would have liked.  Previously I have given out my one iPad and let students use it to create little digital postcards or books using the book creator app or using tellagami they made spoken presentations hiding their anxiety behind an avatar of their making.  Each student has then shown the next student how to make such a presentation using the prescribed tools.  This has been a system that has worked well and given all the students a chance to be creative and enhance their learning and demonstrate their knowledge.
However, this year, just past, I have focused more on a few tools such as google classroom, which you can read about here and here. I have also used Edmodo a great deal as my students have been involved in a collaborative project with students in France.  Edmodo is an excellent and safe platform for a project such as this. Both Google Classroom and Edmodo allow for collaboration and give opportunities too…

iDoceo - marking in the 21st century

The very title of this blog may lead you to believe that I am an out and out technophile.  To a certain extent, this is true; I love to make the most of technology in my classroom and redefine what I am able to do with my students.  Increasingly, I explore technology options for managing my own day to day planning.  I can see and understand the benefits of google drive and documents for me when communicating and collaborating with colleagues and friends.  A shared document is easy to work on and I appreciate the way I can link in photos and so on.  This being the case when I was introduced to iDoceo I could see so much potential.  It was clear to me that I could do away with my traditional mark book and use this new option.
Firstly, I was easily able to import the class spreadsheet from our school information system along with all sorts of details that I wanted to use. 
Once my mark book was in place it did not take me long to sort out my calendar linking it to my school outlook calen…