Mobile app monday
I have often found the idea of using CLICKERS in the classroom very intriguing. The problem that I have always had is that in the beginning, each student had to have a separate device. These devices were usually expensive and did not do anything else. Next in the process came a multitude of cell phone apps that would allow you to have students or participants text in their responses. Tools like Poll Everywhere should a lot of promise. Then came tools like Socrative which really took things to a new level. The problem with tools like this is that every student had to have a device, and while more and more classrooms are moving to a one device per student or even a bring your own device setup, there still seems to be barriers. I often want to poll an audience during a conference session or during a professional development workshop, but I seldom have the time to introduce an app and then have all of the participants install the app and use the app in a meaningful way. That is probably why I was so excited to learn about the PLICKERS.
Plickers is a FREE app for either your iOS device or Android. Using the website, you are able to set up separate classes and assign each student in you class a different number. There is a collection of cards that you can print out and give to each of your students. Each card has a different number associated with it and it in a slightly different shape that resembles a QR Code. Along the edge of each card are the letters A, B, C, and D. Depending on which direction the card is held, it is meant to represent that corresponding answer. Cards are available in a few different sizes and in sets of either 40 or 63 cards.
When you present a question to your students you have the choice of making it a poll type question or one that has a correct answer. To gather the responses from your students, simply open the app on your mobile device and click the camera button. You are basically scanning the classroom as the students hold up their cards. I really encourage you to try this out, because it works ridiculously fast! You can see the responses immediately. Once are done scanning, then you click the checkmark, and Plickers graphs the responses for you. Individual responses are also indicated within the app as well as on your account on the website.
While Plickers does not allow for open ended responses, it does provide a free, fast, and very easy to set up and use solution to gather information from your students. If you use Plickers in your teaching, please share with me your experiences. I would love to hear how you are using this tool.
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Brian Housand, Ph.D.