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Sunday, June 29, 2014

#1iPadClassroom: Assessing Students with Plickers (clicker alternative)


Although Apps are very powerful, not every school can afford to supply tablets in every classroom for every student. How can you use the power of Apps, while staying true to your budget? Welcome to the creatively simple and effective #1iPadclassroom. Over the next few posts, I will talk about Apps and strategies you can use if you only have one iPad. 

Let's say that you want to quickly assess your students, but do not have access to laptops, iPads, and your school prohibits using cell phones. What do you do? Download Plickers to your teacher iPad or Android device. Plickers is a free assessment App that requires very little effort on your part and your students’ part.

Due to the nature of Plickers, your questions are limited to multiple-choice; however, this can be an effective way to check for understanding. How can students answer questions? This is where things get interesting and “old school.” When you sign up for a teacher account, you print out answer cards for students to use. When you ask your students a question, they simply hold up their card and tilt it to the side that corresponds to their answer. You can see a sample card below.


Open up the Plickers App and use your device to literally scan the room for your students’ answers. The answer card has a unique QR code that Plickers scans and generates a poll of answers. Don’t believe me? Check out this video:


This is a great way for any classroom to use. Whether students have learning disabilities or not, they can easily demonstrate their understanding, while you quickly assess their learning.

We know from brain research that it is not about the technology, but how you use the technology that solidifies learning. We also know that not every medium is equal, which can enhance or inhibit learning. This tool opens up learning opportunities and provides students with options to easily express their understanding, whether they have a learning disability or not. It also allows you to move beyond what the answer is to why the answer is what it is.

  • This blog is designed using the Universal Design for Learning framework. Want to know more about UDL? Check out CAST.

  • Are you interested in earning 3 graduate credits and a free iPad? Why not take Eduspire’s iPads in education course. If you are interest, email me for details.

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