Plickers is one of my favorite new tools of the last year. It has been a hit with every group that I have demonstrated it to.
Plickers uses your iPad or Android tablet in conjunction with a series of QR codes to create a student response system. Students are given a set of QR codes on large index cards. The codes are assigned to students. Each code card can be turned in four orientations. Each orientation provides a different answer. You can ask questions verbally or project them on a screen for students to see. When your ready to collect data, use the Plickers mobile app to scan the cards held up by your students. Plickers will show you a bar graph of responses. Responses can also be saved in your online Plickers account.
The latest update to Plickers allows teachers to add pictures to the questions that you create in your Plickers account. To add pictures you have to create your questions in your web browser instead of in the Plickers mobile app. Then to show the image-based questions to students you will have to project them from your laptop to a screen.
Applications for Education
Adding images to questions was the most requested feature in the Plickers user discussion forum. Many people wanted to be able to add pictures to questions in mathematics classes and art classes.
Here are three other ideas for using Plickers in your classroom:
1. Quickly taking the pulse of the class. Ask your students, “do you get this?” (or a similar question) and have them hold up their cards to indicate yes or no. You can do this with a saved class or a demo class in the app.
2. Hosting a review game. Create a series of questions in your saved Plickers classroom. To conduct the review have students hold up their cards to respond to each question. Every student gets to respond at the same time and you get to see how each student responded. This is an advantage over many review games in which only the first student to respond has his or her voice heard.
3. Take attendance. In a saved Plickers class each student has a card assigned to him or her. At the start of class just have them hold up their cards to check-in.