Friday, October 16, 2015

Have you tried "Plickers?"

Two of my fabulous colleagues were putting together two huge, district-wide PD sessions on questioning and formative assessment. While working, they stumbled upon this website and decided to share. Well, since then EVERYONE has been plicker-crazy!!

(check out this great YouTube video by Annette Sapp!)

So, just what is a "plicker?" It's an icon that works kinda like a QR code. The plicker can be held one of four different ways and each way represents an answer choice (a, b, c, or d). There is a tiny, little "a," "b," "c," and "d" on each side of the plicker... when the student holds the plicker, whatever letter is up registers as the answer.

To use plickers in your classroom, you first set up your class on the plickers website and download the app onto your smart phone. Then, you print out (FOR FREE!!) a class set of the icons (see above) and assign one to each student in your class (my students glued their plicker to the inside cover of their ISN... that way is stays safe and usable! BTW... don't laminate them! The glare will mess up their ability to be scanned!). Then, you create a series of multiple choice or true/false questions. Once you have your questions created, you can display them on your computer and your students hold up their plicker to represent their answer choice.

You then use your phone to scan the plickers around the room. Below, you will see two screen shots of the how the app will look on your phone as you scan (forgive the HORRIBLE quality!). As it picks up each response, the student's name will light up green (correct answer) or red (wrong answer) so you can see instantly who gets it and who does not.

Here is what you will see on your computer screen:

I have my screen in "graph mode" with "answer hidden." This means that the student data will display in a graph that does not indicate the correct answer. There are several options for displaying the data, so definitely make sure to play around with the settings to find the option that works best for you.

Over the last 10 years, I've used tons of different student-response system and I have to say that this is by far the best one ever!  There are several things I love about it:

  1. Each plicker looks different (and the "a," "b," "c," and "d" letters are so small, others won't be able to read them), so students can't figure out the answers of their peers by looking around the room. This prevents the kids who have no idea of the answer from waiting to see what everyone else holds up before responding.
  2. It's FREE!! Hello!?!? FREE!!
  3. The scanner is FAST! It takes all of four seconds to scan the room and have the data displayed.
  4. Um, it's FREE!
  5. I love all the different data display options. It's perfect for both formative and summative assessment.
  6. It is controlled by my phone! How easy is that?!?
  7. And finally... it's free... did I mention that?!
So, have you tried plickers? If you have, I'd love to hear about your experience. If you haven't, get out there and get started! I want to hear how you like using them :)

Happy Plickering!!

P.S. Plickers has no idea who I am and they did not pay me to write about my experience :)


  1. WOW! Thank so much for sharing this :) It sounds awesome, i'm going to have to give it a try!

  2. WOW! I never heard of this before! I can't wait to see how it works in my classroom.

  3. I haven't tried Plickers yet but I'm wondering how well it might work in my classroom. I just wonder how well my camera would be able to pick up everyone's answer... 🤔

    On the topic of technology... I just posted a review of this super awesome website called edpuzzle on my blog. It's another website where you can create your own questions and have students submit answers online but it is based on a video that they watch first. My kids love this site and actually look forward to having it for homework. It is a great formative assessment tool! Check it out if you 'd like: