Plickers is an app based tool for quickly assessing a student body. It enables the teacher to instantaneously assess student understanding without the need for students to have an electronic device. All that is required is one smart-device equipped with a camera and some printable cards for students to hold. The camera then scans the class as students indicate their answer with the cards. Plickers gives a teacher great flexibility in assessing for-learning. An educator has the freedom to be spontaneous and quickly poll the class or more methodical and prepare deeper, directed questions.
Currently Plickers is completely free, as it is created by teachers who greatly appreciate a quality assessment tool and wish to benefit their fellow professionals. Going forward they have aspirations of creating a ‘premium’ tier that would require payment. They are open to suggestions from their user base as to what kind of features would be beneficial in a payed version.
Nolan Amy is an education innovator and the found of Plickers. Having graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a Bachelor of Science, he pursued a career as a math teacher. During this time as a teacher the basic foundation of Plickers was developed, and its broader potential was realized. In 2011 he then partnered with ImagineK12 to accelerate this development, ultimately releasing Plickers to the public in 2013. Amy is an educator at heart, and is motivated by a drive to improve classroom instruction. As someone who has spent time in a classroom, he possesses a clear idea of the challenges teachers face with assessment. His venture is birthed from a real-world solution to a real-world challenges. While relatively new to the EdTech world, Amy possesses an ideology that sees him benefitting other educators, before profiting personally.
The Plickers team is comprised primarily of former teachers with a passion for pushing the boundaries of learning. Along with a few experienced tech innovators, they have a lead-team that is both knowledgeable about education and passionate about software development. At current, the team is still growing as they are on the search for quality iOS and Android software engineers.
As an educator that is never happy with the status quo, I am greatly inspired by the work of Nolan Amy. He was a classroom teacher with skills and a vision beyond the four walls of his classroom. His genuine desire to improve assessment for all teachers is exceptional and encouraging. I’m impressed at how the product only requires one electronic device and a few pieces of paper. It is accessible to all educators as the product is free and only requires a smartphone. The barrier of usage is almost zero. It is also interesting how this is truly an internationally available product as it could be used equally effectively in New York City or remote areas of Thailand.