Web Wonder Week #11 - Plinky

I had an emergency cover lesson this week – yes, I still teach even as a headteacher and I do cover too! This was one of those last-minute situations where it wasn’t a planned absence and there was no cover work set, so it had to be ‘Plinky time’.

Plinky is a fantastic free website where you get a new prompt or a new challenge to complete every day. You just create a log in and then respond to the prompt, it couldn’t be easier. In this cover lesson we only had access to one computer, but I was able to project the question onto the board and the students went about answering it. In the end it was a brilliant lesson!

Here are some example Plinky prompts to give you an idea what you’re getting yourself into…

  • Write about the most precious thing you’ve ever lost
  • Take a line from a song that you love or connect with. Now forget the song, and turn that line into the title or inspiration for your post
  • Scour the news for an entirely uninteresting story. Consider how it connects to your life in some way. Write about that.
  • Review the most delicious meal you’ve ever been served, as if it were a movie.

How to use Plinky in the classroom

1. You can use Plinky in any lesson but it’s particularly handy for an emergency cover situation. Alternatively, if you find it hard to engage your students in registration for 15 minutes every day, why not get them to complete a Plinky?

2. You could ask students to respond to a Plinky as part of a series of random homework questions. These types of tasks would be great for PSHE or even for English. The teacher could then read all the answers and maybe select a weekly winner for the best answer.

3. Get students to create their own Plinky challenges; this is a good way to encourage students to come up with creative questions or challenges to initiate discussion.

4. Keep an eye on the daily Plinky challenges to see if any connect to future lessons. You don’t have to do them on the actual day they are published, all of them are archived and you can use them at any time.

If you have a go at using this site then please leave a comment telling us a little bit more about how you used it and what the impact on learning was in your classroom.

Web Wonder Week #10 - SoundCloud

Web Wonder Week #9 - Glogster

Web Wonder Week #8 - CorkboardMe

Web Wonder Week #7 - Wordnik

Web Wonder Week #6 - Newspaper clipping

Web Wonder Week #5 - Essay Map

Web Wonder Week #4 - 10 x 10

Web Wonder Week #3 - Newseum and Newsmap

Web Wonder Week #2 - Tag Galaxy

Web Wonder Week #1 - Type with Me

Who is Dan Roberts?

Dan Roberts is a former deputy headteacher at Saltash.net Community School and is now headteacher at the International School Seychelles.

Dan is known to many who have read his blog as the ‘Chicken Man’ thanks to his work in the Recharge the Battery science project, which began when pupils wanted to rescue battery chickens from a local intensive farm to live a free-range life at the school. This scheme became the basis for a unique curriculum which has since been disseminated around the globe by Microsoft.

In recognition of his work, Dan won the ICT Visionary Award at the 2012 TES Awards, where he was commended as, “no one-trick pony (or even a one-trick chicken), but a bold scavenger who explores all sorts of different technologies and discovers new approaches for other teachers around the world”.

Keep up with Dan in on this blog and on Twitter @TesEdTech