How I Use It
I would use Plickers as an exit ticket and to get a quick assessment of how a lesson was understood. I would also use it to gage how my class is doing on specific areas I want them to master. For example, if we are working on concepts such as integers or geometry terms I could get a quick read on how the class understood these concepts quickly and from there differentiate my instruction. In small groups, for example, I would use it to assess multiplication mastery; that would allow me to move students into different groups of mastery as they progress. The mechanics of Plickers is solid and easy to use interface. The challenge with Plickers is the type of questions it allows are closed questions that are either multiple choice or yes and no. This is also teacher led and after awhile, students are not engaged with this type of assessment, which can affect the results.
Overall, I like the concept and simplicity of setting up my own questions and virtual classrooms using Plickers. I also like that I can do a quick cursory overview of how the lesson went and use the data to differentiate my instruction. The limitations of Plickers is that it does not allow for open-ended questions or student generated answers. With so many tools available that offer what Plickers does and more, it makes it difficult to choose this tool over another. Plickers does mediate the challenge of needing student devices when they have none or the school policy does not allow them. Unfortunately, I feel it can limit students in their ability to develop the capacity to use their own personal devices as learning tools. Important 21st Century skills include integrating technology into our learning culture, which includes students owning the learning and mastering the important skills of creative and innovative use of devices. Finally, setting up the use of Plickers is a bit time consuming with having to print up the cards and laminate them for future use. However, once that is done you'll have a set you can re-use again and again!