Thursday, April 10, 2014

PD on Plickers

Yesterday I introduced "Plickers" to the teachers attending my professional development class. For those of you who are not familiar with Plickers, they are "paper clickers" - a way of using a student response system without having technology in your classroom such as smart phones or tablets (only the teacher needs a device). You can print out a complete set of 40 Plickers on the Plickers website. The Plickers look something like giant QR codes (see photo at right). 

Even though Plickers is so "untechnical" to the observer (students are not using any devices), it really is pretty high tech. One of the teachers even commented "I like going back to the old fashioned way of just using paper". My professional development class is focused on using iPads in the content areas, so I wasn't sure how this idea would be received, but they loved it! I had them all be the students and try it out. I had my phone reflected up on the screen so they could see exactly what was happening on the teacher end of it. They were amazed at the speed and accuracy of it, and how far away I could stand and still be able to scan everyone's Plickers.

One teacher had a fantastic idea. He noted that some younger students or those with disabilities might have a difficult time trying to manipulate the Plicker with the answer choice at the top when it has to be facing away from them so they can't see it. (I think even middle school and high school students might have difficulty as well.) He suggested that we write the A, B, C, and D on the back of the Plickers (the side that would be facing the student) in the correct positions so they can see it facing them and still allow for the teacher to see the side that needs to be scanned.

It's very easy to set up and use Plickers. Download the Plickers app, then check out the Plickers website to create your account, to print out your class set of Plickers, and to add classes and students.  Your students will think its cool!

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