Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Tech Tip Tuesday: Plickers

It seems like Tuesdays are coming around fast all of a sudden! This always seems to happen to me at the end of the year. Things are so busy that it just flies by!

In the last session of my Technology Focus Group, the teachers were excited to learn about Plickers. Plickers is a student response system, but it doesn't require every student to have a device, which is awesome. Plickers stands for "paper clickers". Each student receives a numbered card that is also associated with them when you enter the class into the plickers web interface.

Each student card basically looks like a giant QR code that is unique to them. The orientation of the card signals their answer choice (A,B, C or D) to the program.

The teacher only needs a device with the Plickers app (available for iOS or Android). Then, all the teacher has to do is ask a question, give students a chance to think and hold up their cards, and then scan the room with the app. The app will pick up the student answers from their cards and give the teacher instant data, showing who has answered correctly, who has answered incorrectly, and who hasn't answered at all.

You also get data you can analyze later, like the image below from a recent PD.
Clicking on the data for each question gives me more in-depth data for the question, like what each student specifically answered.

Can be used for:

  • Pre-assessing knowledge of a new topic
  • Post-assessment
  • Quick assessment/Classroom Practice
Why this is great for ELLs:
Gone are the days when teachers would pose a question and only one student could answer! Using classroom response systems like Plickers gives every student the opportunity to participate in every question, and gives the teachers the opportunity to assess where every student is at on every question. This means it is easier for the teacher to determine where his/her ELLs are struggling and and analyze why in order to offer appropriate supports. Additionally, since each answer will be facing the teacher, students won't be looking at one another's answers. This provides a low-pressure way for ELLs to demonstrate their knowledge without feeling "on the spot."

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