A few weeks ago I read a post about an application called Plickers posted by Eric Sheninger. After listening to Eric at the fall GASSP conference a few years ago, I follow Eric on social media and pay attention to information he shares. After reading up on Plickers, I created an account and shared the information with a few teachers. This past week, I visited a classroom and demonstrated the application for one of our teachers and his students. The teacher and students all liked the application!
The application is very easy to use and valuable in many ways. The top two reasons are student engagement and getting a quick assessment of all students. The students enjoyed using the cards to answer the questions and immediately getting feedback. Instead of randomly calling students to answer questions, all students respond. The teacher is able to quickly determine if additional instruction is needed or move on based on the (formative) results.
It does take a little time to enter the names of students and all the questions. However, once entered they are stored for future use. One set of cards can be used in a classroom throughout the day with all students. I used card stock as recommended and believe it to be the best to print the cards on. The IPAD or phone used will not scan the cards quickly if laminate is used due to the glare. Another suggestion is how your students are arranged in the classroom. If students are in long rows, scanning answer cards can be difficult. I would recommend arranging seating to help scan the cards easier and quicker. Once the application is used, you will understand my point.
Teachers need to use free tools of this type to engage students and quickly assess what students know. Student engagement is critical in the teaching and learning process so using Plickers helps resolve this issue. Since time is an issue for teachers, getting a quick formative assessment helps any teacher determine next steps helping students master the curriculum.