Conferences & Professional Learning, EdTech

EdTech Conference Takeaways: Plickers

First, let me say this: I cannot wait to use Plickers in my classroom!

Do your students love Kahoot? Then I bet they will love Plickers too! Bonus: the only devices required for Plickers are the teacher’s: your computer, projector, and smartphone or tablet. Students respond to questions you project on the board by holding up cards like this:

Each card has a unique symbol, so students can’t just choose an answer based on what everyone else is holding up

This is a half-page image printed on regular white paper. You can print a set out from the Plickers website for free. On each side, you can see a letter – A, B, C, or D. You project a question on the board through the Plickers website (multiple choice or true/false), and students hold up their card to indicate the answer. Here’s the cool part: you collect their answers by scanning the room with your smartphone! On the card above, you also see a number (I was 25). You set up your classes in Plickers, and each student is assigned a number. So, when you scan the room to collect answers, you have immediate feedback on each of your students (as well as a record of who is participating). The presenter suggested having a set of cards for each class, and writing students’ names on their assigned card. Collect the cards and keep them in your room to avoid having to re-print when students inevitably lose them, and just have students find their cards on Plickers day.

I love using Kahoots, but I’ve had a few problems with them – students who don’t have devices, students who are “sharing” with their partner but not actually doing any thinking, students pretending to participate who are actually on social media, loss of connectivity, poor wifi, waiting for someone next to them to submit their answer so they can copy, randomly choosing an answer as soon the question pops up so they can be the first to answer, and that time my seventh period lost Kahoot privileges because someone put “john is gay” as his username.  I’m not ready to abandon Kahoots entirely, but I am excited to have another review/formative assessment tool in my arsenal, particularly as this one doesn’t require student devices. The biggest advantage that Kahoot has is the sharing/search ability – unfortunately, there is not (yet) an option to search questions or sets from other teachers on Plickers.


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