The Blair Finch Project
Plickers is a fun and top secret way of quickly collecting data from individual students. It works by posting a question via the website (projected on the board or read aloud), and students answer by holding up a card that looks similar to a QR code. Their answer is either A, B, C, or D depending on which side they hold up on top. The teacher then uses an iPhone or iTouch with the free app loaded to scan the room with a camera. The camera shows the students' name and answer as well as a red for incorrect or a green for correct. Watch the video below for a tutorial on setting Plicker up for your classroom needs.
There are two main reasons for using this tool: 1) student confidentiality and 2) electronic data. Gathering formative assessments on students can be challenging in front of peers, but this way their answer is their own and between just them and the teacher. If you're like me, and you are or you wouldn't be reading this, you have to document student growth on hundreds of students. This is a fantastic way of collecting data (I would leave it as more of a formative assessment tool than a summative) and having it immediately organized and available. It's concrete data.
Plickers can be set up in just a few minutes. You will need to get a free account and login both via the internet and the app. You do need both to run it successfully. Then, set up your classes. I believe you can have up to 40 students in a class. Plicker automatically assigns each student a number, and you can print this list or assign them numbers if they already have a number system in their room. Next, print the cards (I use cardstock for durability but don't laminate as it creates glare when scanning). Each student gets the card they are assigned to (numbers).
To run a quiz or question, you can pre-make them and add the same question to different classes as needed. You can project them on the board and show love results or hide them for student confidentiality.
This is not a tool I would use every day wtih my students, but it's a fast way to get data collected and organized. My first graders used it with no problem, so I would say it's safe to use with any grade level! Watch the video below on how to get started.
Click the icon to get more info!
Plickers is more than just a substitutive app because it improves the function of your classroom. It certainly augments your teaching and record keeping, but doesn't really move students into higher level thinking.
Check out show images from Plickers. As you can see, anyone can use it!