March 28, 2017
Series: Brilliant Activities for Birth Educators- Plick to Learn
By: Andrea D. Lythgoe, LCCE | 0 Comments
This month's Brilliant Activities for Birth Educators is presented by regular contributor Andrea Lythgoe, LCCE. This interactive teaching idea is attractive to millennials, provides a fun way to keep learners engaged and offers your class instant feedback on the topics you are covering. Additionally, it is virtually free! You can find all the great teaching activities we have shared so far in our entire series - Brilliant Activities for Birth Educators and you keep your classes fresh and fun. - Sharon Muza, Community Manager, Science & Sensibility
Introduction to Plickers
Plickers is a quick and inexpensive way to quickly and interactively poll your classes using cards and a free app on your smartphone. Students do not need to download an app or even have a smartphone at all, as the system uses paper cards that you can download and print.
- Download the free Plickers app available for iPhone or Google smartphones
- A set of Plickers cards that can be printed by you or ordered from Amazon.com. I already had a binder full of half sized papers from another teaching activity, I chose to print the half page sized cards on cardstock and put them in the same page protectors I already had and use for other purposes. I have had no trouble with the readability of the cards in the page protectors.
- A wifi or internet hotspot connection
Set up to do ahead of time
- Create a free account at Plickers.com
- Create a class. While you CAN assign a card to each student and keep track of the answers on a student-by-student basis, I have not done this and the system works just fine without it. I have created a class for each week in my series that I plan to use Plickers.
- Write questions. You can have up to four options per question.
Using Plickers in class
- Open the Plickers app on your cell phone and navigate to the class you are teaching. You will see the list of questions you have assigned to that class.
- If you want your class to view the results in real time, use your class computer/tablet connected to a projector, or TV. Go to the Plickers web site and choose "live view" from the menu at the top. Or just view the results on your phone and deliver the results verbally.
- Open the question you want the class to answer. If you are using the live view, once you see the question, your students will see it on the big screen as well. I prefer to have the class see results in the "graph" mode, so I switch to that tab before scanning.
- Give each person a Plickers card and have them hold their response card with their answer facing the top.
- Press the "scan" button at the bottom of your phone and move your phone around as it scans the room. As it picks up the answers, it will show a small blue box by the card. When you are done, press the check mark at the bottom and you will see the results on your phone. If you are using live view, the class will see the results there as well.
Ideas for using Plickers in your classroom
Surveys/introduction - you could poll your classes on simple things, like parity, care provider, place of birth, sex of the baby, etc. I have found this works well as a quick daily icebreaker or post break activity.
Test knowledge - at the end of a class, or the beginning of the next, you could survey the class to evaluate what the class has learned or retained.
Applications/scenarios - I recently taught a class for birth photographers on assessing labor progress, and I presented several scenarios for the class to tell me what they would do in that situation. It was a great way to open up discussion on the considerations and factors influencing their decisions.
Plickers in the childbirth education classroom encourages learning
In my experience, the classes seem to really enjoy the novelty of the Plickers app and the ability to see results in real time. When results were different than what was expected, we were able to clarify the correct information and discuss the topic more thoroughly. I liked the fact that expensive materials were not needed and the overall function was very low tech and does not require expensive response tools or smartphones for all the class members. As it doesn't require students to use their cell phones, it keeps phones out of sight and attention on the learning activity.
Do you think you would use Plickers in the classroom? How might you utilize this learning tool for your purposes? Do you already use something like this or even this very application? How has it worked out for you? Please share your experiences in our comments section. - SM
TagsChildbirth education Professional Resources Andrea Lythgoe Brilliant Activities For Birth Educators Series: Brilliant Activities For Birth Educators Plickers