Stimulating Engagement and Building Classroom Community with Plickers
Type of technology: Electronic Application
SAMR Model Rating: Substitution
Grade level: K-12
Subject area: All Subjects
What’s a simple cost-free way you can use technology to stimulate student-engagement, check for understanding, and build classroom community? Plickers! Plickers is an app you can download on any device. It’s simple. Just download the app, make a class, and write out a multiple-choice question with four answers.
How do I use it? :
Once you have your account, you can print out answer cards for your students. Each answer card has four letters on it (A, B, C, D). When you pose a question to your class have them hold up their card with the letter they want to choose facing up. Then, press the scan button on your app. The app on your device will be able to scan all the students’ responses. Once you’ve scanned their answer cards you can project the survey results on your Apple TV, projector, or you can show the survey results to a student and have them announce the option that won.
I prefer using this app over PollEverywhere because PollEverywhere requires that students respond to teacher-generated question using an electronic device, but with Plickers students only need a paper card to respond.
Why use Plickers? :
Research shows that when students have the opportunity to shape their learning experience their engagement in class is stimulated. This app allows your students’ to have more choices or at least feel as if they have more. For example, if your class has earned a “Movie Day” or you are watching a documentary or video, you can narrow down the movie, documentary, or video to four pre selected options and have your students vote on what they want watch. In this case, students feel as if they choose the movie themselves, and even if they did not select the movie that won, then at least they might be interested in watching the movie that got the majority vote.
One way you can build classroom community by asking your students on a student questionnaire what their favorite book, movie, band, TV show, etc., is. Once you have collected this information you can have a Plicker question come up in the middle of a lecture for example, and ask the class: “Who’s favorite band in this class is The Eagles?” The A, B, C, and D options for this question would be students’ names. My experience with this is that it helped me expose different common grounds my students have with one another, and by extension it help build solidarity in the classroom.