Thursday, February 26, 2015

"Got Clickers?"

"Got Clickers?"




We all know formative assessment is important: checking for understanding, on-the-fly adjustments in class, and planning for differentiated and relevant lessons is part and parcel what teachers do day-in and day-out. A few years ago, "clickers" came on the scene and transformed the classrooms lucky enough to have a set. However, having enough money to purchase clickers for every classroom is a huge challenge.

Enter "Plickers." This free tool is an amazing alternative to expensive multiple-choice clickers.  All a teacher needs is an iPhone/iPad or Android device, the cards from the Plickers website, and a few minutes to create the questions.





Students rotate their individual cards to show an answer (A-D) and the Plickers app utilizes the teacher's device to capture the student's answers.  Teachers create classes, assign students to individual cards, and create questions online. Student answers can be projected onto the whiteboard (or wall) for students to see.

Every student's card is unique, so there is no danger of the student looking over and making their "shape" match a classmate's.

This is a tool that I definitely recommend to teachers wanting an easy-to-use tool for capturing formative assessment. However, Plickers is brand new and as such, is still in development. There may be some features you want that aren't yet available. After playing around with them a bit, here are some pros and cons I noticed:

Pros
  • You have a clicker alternative
  • Easy to use for checking for understanding
  • Great for when you do not have access to other technology (PE/GYM or similar classes where getting out clickers or a polling device would take an extended amount of time away from instruction)
  • Great for teachers with older classroom technology that is troublesome to boot up for just a few questions
  • Your iPhone/iPad or Android device can be used to navigate your question list
  • FREE 

Cons
  • Exporting question results to a spreadsheet is still in development
  • Not an easy way to remove absent students
  • Limited to Plickers.com website for creating/displaying questions
As we pilot this in classrooms we will update this blog to share how it looks in live teaching.

If you have any additional questions or would like help implementing this in your classroom, please contact your EdTech Coach.


Example Plickers Cards Used in a 2nd Grade Classroom



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This is a professional blog associated with the Ed Tech Department of Aurora Public Schools. Comments and suggestions are welcomed and appreciated, but please keep in mind that this can be used in classrooms and viewed by anyone.