The Plickers app is a great engagement tool for a quick formative assessment. The teacher creates a set of multiple choice questions for the students. Each student is assigned a Plickers card with a unique pattern. After a question is presented, the students respond by holding up their cards, and the teacher scans the cards with his or her mobile device.
The results appear instantly for the teacher to view. The students name lights up green if they get the answer correct and red if they get the answer wrong. The app gives instant feedback to teachers to help them understand if students are comprehending the content, rather than grading papers at the end of a lesson. Plickers is a perfect way to determine if you need to back up or continue forward with content in the middle of your lesson. Teachers can add questions to Plickers from their mobile devices and can also take a screenshot of a task card and insert it into their Plickers assessment.
Plickers can also be used in the classroom for voting, group games, attendance, lunch count or daily check-ins with students. The app is free and automatically saves and tracks data from students. This technology appears to be a valuable tool for teachers in the classroom.
Epic is a great interactive reading app for students to use in the classroom. The best way to describe Epic is it is like Netflix but for books, offering over 25,000 books for students to read. If you are an educator Epic does not cost anything to use in the classroom. If you are a parent and want to use Epic in your home the cost is $7.99 a month. Epic allows students to read an unlimited amount of books. Epic includes fiction/nonfiction books, audio books, educational videos, and fun quizzes. Epic tailors itself to the user and helps suggest books for students based on their interest. Students can also earn badges and medals when they complete a book. Epic also allows you to view your students or child’s reading activity. You can view the content they are reading and the time that is spent reading certain books. As an educator or parent you can also select books for students to read and customize the level of books for your students. Currently I see Epic being used in the classroom during reading intervention. Students appear to enjoy using Epic in the classroom, and it is a great way to engage students to be readers and make reading more enjoyable.
The IXL app is an educational program that covers K-12 subjects in math, language arts, science, and social studies. I was first introduced to IXL when my daughter’s third grade class began using the program in the classroom. The program follows the Common Core State Standards for all 50 states. The site is well organized and is separated by grade level and by area of study. When students are using the program they are able to select the area they would like to study and earn medals for completion of levels. IXL’s best feature is that it really allows teachers to differentiate assignments for different students by moving them up or down to the appropriate grade level. IXL provides useful data for teachers in the classroom on how students are progressing through lessons. The data is easy to read and something you can use in the classroom to show what targeted areas may require additional instruction and work. What I find most beneficial in the program is that when students answer a question incorrectly it does a great job of explaining what the correct answer is and shows the student how to find the correct answer using visual examples. The program costs $199 dollars for classroom use. The program does offer a trial period of 30 days for teachers.