Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Plickers: For those of us without the luxury of one-to-one devices

Finding yourself frustrated with all those amazing educational tech platforms out there that are targeted toward classrooms with one-to-one devices? I get it. Me too. I don't have one-to-one devices available to me at every waking moment. So, here's a solution. Plickers. 

Plickers requires one computer that is projected somewhere for students to see (in my case, to my Smartboard) and one mobile device (I just use my phone or an iPad). 

Here's the rundown:
1. Sign up with Plickers.
2. Click the Cards link at the top of the page and print/laminate them. They look like this:

3. Add a new class by clicking on the Classes link at the top of the page and copy and pasting your students names into a new tile. By doing so, each of your students will be given a number that corresponds to a card number (the ones you just printed out and laminated). 

4. Click on the Library link at the top of the page and add new questions. You must do so individually and, if I were you, I would create folders for the different types of questions you are creating. For example, I have a folder for basic addition and subtraction review.

5. Add the questions you want to use in your lesson into your Queue.

6. Click on the Live View link at the top of the page. Then, open the app on your mobile device. Click on the question you wish to begin on (in the app) while your live view page is displayed on your computer. All the students need to do is figure out the answer to the question on display and communicate their answer by raising up their card with the letter A, B, C, or D, depending on their answer, at the the top of their page so you can scan it. Once you successfully scan a card, the student's name/number on the display screen will become a blue check mark. 

Your computer screen and the app will look like the following:

When you click on the Scan button at the bottom of your Mobile Devices's screen, it will look like this:

As each student's card is scanned, their name will turn red or green depending on if their answer is incorrect or correct. There will also be a running count of correct and incorrect answers in the top right corner of your screen.

7. When you have finished with the assignment or quiz, you can go back to the home screen on your computer and click on the Reports link at the top of the screen. Here is where you can see a full breakdown of your class data:

To see a more detailed breakdown with the names of students who chose correct or incorrect answers, simply click on the problem in question.

Ready for the one thing I don't like about Plickers? Because it's a pretty big thing. Currently, there is no way to share questions you've created with other teachers. Have I looked into this issue? Of course. The answer I found? Plickers is aware of the issue and the demand for easy sharing. They're working on it and will hopefully update their platform to include it ASAP!

Hopefully this helps in your quest for useful tech in that "I wish I had one-to-one devices" world we're living in. 

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