Plick Your Way to Success

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Photo Credit: All Reverse Mortgage Flickr via Compfight cc

Online presentation = check!

I have to thank my wonderful teammates – Rochelle Rugg, Luke Braun, Krista Gates, and Amy Singh – for collaborating so well on this project. Although we may have met a few times throughout the planning and presenting process, a lot of the work was done via Zoom, Google Docs, and Google Slides. Talk about a first-hand way to experience the beauty of educational software and media and the benefits it can have on education and learning (ironic that our presentation broached that topic as well?)

During the presentation, I talked about my use of Google Classroom and how I appreciated the benefits this can have on my classroom, particularly in regards to both my students and my organization of assignments. I have personally noticed an increase in assignment submission because of the reminder on Google Classroom of the due date, and the red letters reading ‘Late’ when it hasn’t been submitted. It has certainly helped those students who use technology to complete their assignments, and it helps students who have the tendency to lose their assignments throughout the completion process.

If you can’t tell, I love Google classroom.

That being said, I want to touch on a different type of edtech software today in this post: Plickers.

I learned about Plickers a little less than a year ago during my first #edtech class, EC&I 831, through a #saskedchat Twitter chat. It is difficult to explain in just words, so below is a short video explaining how to set-up Plickers in the classroom.

I would use Plickers for a recap of a particular lesson at the start of the class, or as an exit slip at the end of class to see what the students have successfully understood. I once tried to use it as a quick multiple-choice quiz to differentiate my assessment techniques in the classroom. It’s been beneficial  for changing up the regular pace of the classroom, and I particularly like that, with the exception of the answer keys that can be re-used every time, it is a paperless system that remains organized. Plickers keeps records of students’ work and can be organized into whatever categories the teacher wants. Although there is limited actual impact on learning (it is simply a multiple-choice review or introduction to knowledge, similar to Kahoot without the competitive aspect), its helps inform teaching. Just like exit slips, it can help the teacher realize what concepts have taken hold with students and what concepts have not. It informs what perhaps needs to be re-taught, or what can be skipped because the students know about it already, all in an engaging way for students. Consequently, although it does not have a direct impact on students’ learning, indirectly it impacts their education because it informs the teacher what needs to improve in regards to his or her lessons.

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Photo Credit: Skley Flickr via Compfight cc

The information acquired, however, should be taken with a grain of salt, because it is multiple choice, so guessing-your-way-to-success is a possibility. Furthermore, there are only so many questions that can be done in the multiple-choice format. I found that it was more useful when I was teaching elementary school than high school. Additionally, the set-up can take time, and if you are only going to use for a few minutes at the end of the class, it may not be worth your while. What you see as an advertisement isn’t always how it pans out in the classroom. That is perhaps why it is not as wide-spread as other software technologies, and why there haven’t been as many proponents and adopters for it. I don’t necessarily think there are a variety of opponents of Plickers – there is nothing particularly bad about it – but I just think it may not be worthwhile for a lot of teachers, especially those who don’t use technology often. The teacher needs to use his or her phone to scan the room, and for those who aren’t comfortable doing this, they simply won’t adopt this technology.

So should you adopt Plickers in your classroom? I use it occasionally; it isn’t something I use often because of the time it requires for set-up compared to the educational gains. That being said, the kids enjoy it and it is more engaging (and environmentally-friendly!) than other non-technological types of exit slips.

Interested in trying it out? You can watch the (longer) video below that will help with any initial set-up required. Maybe you will use it more often and more effectively than I do!

Have you ever used Plickers in your classroom? How do you like it? In what circumstances do you use this educational tool? What benefits/disadvantages have you noticed?

Going off of the presentation on Tuesday, have you ever used Google Classroom? If so, what are your thoughts on that educational software?

Overall, what are your thoughts on using educational software and media in the classroom? Some of our readings this week had to do with the evolution of the use of media in the classroom, and whether it is valuable or whether it has no impact on the learning that transpires. I personally think educational media and software helps teachers think outside of the box to bring about more engaging and interesting lessons. Even just using Mentimeter last week made me interested in the lesson more than simply writing all our ideas down on a piece of paper; so both as a teacher and a student, I prefer using different techniques to complete an activity. It also helps differentiate learning and keep things organized, for both students and teachers. Although it can’t replace teachers, educational media and software – when used appropriately – can enhance learning.

What do you think?

Until next time!

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8 Responses to Plick Your Way to Success

  1. ashleypmurray says:

    I find that with a lot of these tools there is a lot of time and effort on the teachers part to set it all up and organize it that sometimes it doesn’t seem like it’s worth it just like you said. Especially in the case of multiple choice questions where students are able to just guess, it may not be the best tool in terms of assessment. I do like the idea of using these tools for a quick exit slip or bell work type question. I agree with your thoughts using these type of software/media in the classroom…it’s a nice way to differentiate and add some ‘fun’. It changes things up a bit and gives students a break from the same old pen and paper type responses that we so often use. Thanks for sharing all the information on Plickers too.

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  2. Erin Benjamin says:

    I think that many of these types of software are engaging and provide a good hook, but I’m not sure I would trust the results for assessment purposes due to the multiple choice point that you brought up.

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  4. Hi Liz, Thanks for sharing Plickers with us! I used to do exit slips in my class… But was frustrated by the lack of effort (& interest) on the part of the students. This sounds like a fun thing to try out. If nothing else, I’ll have had yet another EdTech experience to add to my list!

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