Show us your Plickers!


You really need an American accent to pronounce Plickers! It is a fun way of gathering formative assessment data and it’s free! Unlike most polling and voting systems the teacher only needs one device. The learners are each given a four-sided simple QR code.

The four sides represent possible answers to true/false or multiple choice questions.

The idea is that teachers can perform quick formative assessments. The children hold up a card in one of four ways in response to a multiple choice, or True/False question.

It sounds confusing, but bear with me!

Each child manages their own card and they can be used over and over again! Having tested paper ones, I would recommend card. The Plickers company will sell you some fancy versions, but they do provide a free PDF. The a,b,c,d letters are quite small and younger learner may need a little help.

The cards look like this.

Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 11.25.33

For example if the students think the answer is “D” they hold the D side up and then we scan the class. This can easily be done from the front of the classroom.

The class student lists and questions can be written up with minimum fuss within your free Plickers account.

You can see use the web page to show the class the questions with or without the live data appearing. You can toggle the screen to show a graph of responses or individual student responses.


As the cards scan in, the teacher will see the data appear on their iPhone or iPad.

We could use Plickers for simple True and False questions, Times tables, quick re-caps , etc.

You don’t have to scan each QR code individually, you can scan around the room and it will read them.

Having used this is in class, I was initially skeptical, thinking the codes would be problematic. They are simplified, chunky QR codes and they are captured surprisingly easily. The challenge for some of the younger learners is checking they have the right a,b,c,d side up. The letters are very small. The children also need to present the codes directly at the teacher, with the whole code showing. Some excited fingers over codes will prevent the scanning process.

FullSizeRender 18

We used the LCD screen to show the live questions and the graphs to the class. They did become distracted though when they could see their own names as opposed to the graph on the live view. It was a very slick and easy to run process and something that I think we will use often.

Buying the Kit

Screen Shot 2013-04-22 at 09.30.30

Yesterday I bought 8 16GB iPad minis from John Lewis in Sheffield. I did this because they offer a 2 year warranty on the iPad for the standard price that Apple offer at £269.00.

Normally, I would buy my kit from Apple directly or from an Apple Solution Expert.  These are companies that are authorised to sell Apple products to schools. There are some very good ASE’s and some that are hopeless.

I’ve not opened and set up the iPads yet.  It will take a while so be patient.

The kit list

8 iPad minis £269 x8= £2152 (ouch) As a school you can claim yer VAT back to for Apps!

But remember this is (at least) 8 resources that hitherto would have cost £10,00’s and required tech bods to support! iPads don’t need technicians to support and that’s why many techies hate iPads.  So 8 what was that?….

  • 8 TV studios with 8 HD video cameras 
  • 8 Music Tech studios with Microphones
  • 8 Animation studios
  • 8 Digital dark rooms
  • 8 Social Learning devices
  • 8 Art digital paint studios
  • 8 eBook publishing studios
  • 8 things that we’ve never even dreamt were possible devices (as a result of new amazing apps).

If the governors at your school are baulking at the idea, give them this simple list and then ask is £2k a lot.

Other bits bought from either the £ shop or eBay,

  • 8 headphone splitters £1.99 x8= £15.92 (eBay)


Now 8 iPads can be used (quietly by 16 learners half the class). Headphone splitters mean you can have two pairs of headphones attached to the same iPad.


8 cases that cover front and back 8x £6.99= £55.92 (eBay)

I’ve chosen cases for my workshops. Colour coded so I can say “Hey green group!” They are immediately a group! But a key focus here is trying to manage learners using the iPads in pairs and as individuals!

These are cheap Chinese versions of the Apple covers. They do have back plates, so they provide some protection. More importantly they stand upright on the desk for presenting and recording sessions.

4 packs of 10 stylus £1.99 x 4  (eBay)


These are pretty grim. They are cheap but they work and at £1.99 for 10 I’ve bought 4 packets. I’ll test drive them in another blog.

Some people spend shed loads on things like this.  I can’t afford it and I guess if you are reading this, you can’t either!

Other bits…

1 laptop (in my case the cheapest Macbook air) You can use a PC if you must! I’m not including this in the costings.

Even the poorest school can find a laptop.

Total cost  for hardware £2231.84