Tuesday, May 8, 2018

A review of Plickers: low-tech edu-tech

I decided to test-drive “Plickers” in my classroom, if anyone else wants to know about it.

I decided to try it because it sounded intriguing, and there were no computers available for me to do a Kahoot on.  Why the kids love Kahoot, I do not know.  But they do, so once in a while, I give them what they love.  I like the idea of trying out new things, and the idea of using something both low tech (printed cards) and high tech (phone cameras, apps) was interesting.  I sometimes use comprehension questions about readings as more input, so the multiple choice format works well. 
Overview of Plickers:
Basically, you print out cards, create a class list in the app and assign cards to kids,  create a quiz in an app or online,  project the questions, then use the app and your phone’s camera to “read” the student answers that they display the cards. You can only ask T/F or multiple choice questions with Plickers.  Each card has an A-B-C-D side, and kids respond by rotating the card to answer the question.

Here’s my quick and dirty review: 
(TL:DR-Not worth it) 
  • The interface is pretty much horrible- the web and mobile versions are both difficult to use, confusing, and time consuming.  The only easy thing that plickers does is that it was easy to import a class list.
  • I printed up the cards, made a quiz in the interface, and tried it.
  • The “live view” function barely functioned, it took forever for the camera to “read” the results, and students were sitting around waiting.  This could be because the printer was running out of toner, so the cards are not super dark, but the camera could read the cards, just not quickly.  The interface was so bad that it took me (a lot of) time to load up the next question, which did not help.
  • Multiple choice or true/false questions leave something to be desired anyway, although for a quick formative assessment they are useful.  Supposedly, you can actually track answers and create graphs and score reports, but that did not work at all for me.  
  • I was really hoping the novelty factor would be worth something.  It was not.
  • The kids hated it- especially compared to Kahoot or quizlet live.  

No comments:

Post a Comment