Plickers – #1device

The Background:

I’ve used a lot of student voting, quiz and question resources in my time. It started for me with ActiVote by Promethean. Way ahead of it’s time really and required each pupil to have a pod that they used to respond to questions.

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Since then there have been lots of ways of doing this ranging from online quizzes that pupils went through at their own pace such as Quizlet and more recently Kahoot and Socrative. Most of the ones I found required multiple devices. Not something I have access to.

The Tech:

I had been following Plickers for a while and looked at it few times but never really took the step to try it out. This week I decided that I would fit nicely so gave it a go. Amazing! The idea is simple and the use is just as easy. I use the app to write my questions either before or during (it is that quick) the lesson. The children all have a card with a different shaped block on it.

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Holding the card up in different ways allows the children to select from your multiple choice options and using the ‘live view’ from the Plickers website we can see a bar chart of the votes. As a teacher I can also delve in to see who voted for each option.

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The Uses:

I have gone pretty simple with this one. I have not tried it in too many lessons as I have been wanting to focus the children and make sure they are fluid with using the cards so that it does not disrupt lessons.

I have used them for debates to gauge opinions before and after the discussion. I found that really helps the children to understand that their language  and evidence can change someone’s opinion and very short time. In science we have been using it to look at predictions. It has helped me with my assessments to see how each individual thinks  about different areas of science. I sometimes find it science that people can hide easily within a group and I can never gauge whether it is really their opinion or someone who has a strong opinion in the group. My favourite you so far has been really really simple. I have used it in the morning to ask a question “How are you feeling today?”.  Straightaway I can see if there are any problems in the class that I need to deal with the may be a barrier to their learning throughout the day.

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The Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • no children need a device
  • quick
  • simple
  • option of opinion poll and quiz
  • low cost (printing & possibly laminating if you’re feeling extravagant)
  • engaging

Cons:

  • cards can get lost meaning they need to be reprinted
  • children occasionally choose wrong option by turning the card the wrong way round

Click here to see a simple user guide from Plickers.

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