01 March 2016

Kahoot! Kids Love It!!!

(No more paper plates or Popsicle sticks; welcome to the 21st century!)

Educational Technology Assessment Tool Extraordinaire 

I came across this technology through a post by the Social Studies legend Glenn Wiebe. He is the go-to guy when it comes to anything Social Studies technology and activities. I actually created a Kahoot! specifically for the hiring committee at my current school. They loved it and I got the job. Since that day, I have been sharing Kahoot! with as many people who will listen to me. I share a lot of ed tech with teachers but I can honestly say that Kahoot! is the most popular ed tech tool that I have ever shared. I take a certain pride in knowing that I introduced my school to this really cool tool.

Kahoot! allows educators to create interactive quizzes that engage students more than I have ever seen. The gist of the game is for the students to answer as many of the questions (created by the teacher) as possible in the shortest amount of time. The most innovative feature of this game is that it allows students to play along on their own devices. Since Kahoot! is not an app, all the teacher needs is a projector and access to the internet; all the students need is a device (laptops, smartphones, tablets).  Once one of the questions is projected on the board, the clock starts and the students search for the correct answer (set on 30 seconds but can be changed depending on time constraints). Below the questions are the 4 possible responses, each in a box of a different color with corresponding shape (triangle, square, circle etc.). The students look at possible responses on the board, select the right one, and click the corresponding color on their device. But wait.....there's more! (In my best infomercial voice)  Students compete with each other for the top score (projected on the screen).  The quicker they answer, the more points they get (rewarding those who know the content).  Students can even pick a nickname (I suggest forcing each student to keep the same nickname to keep track of the data easier).  Only the top 5 scores are projected so no need to worry about shaming those who are unprepared. After the quiz, the students are prompted to answer a survey asking to rate the quiz. Once the survey is completed, the teacher has the option of saving the results to an Excel Spreadsheet to keep track of student progress. Say goodbye to the lame Jeopardy test reviews and say hello to Kahoot!

So what are the applications of Kahoot!? The possibilities are almost endless. Here are just a few that I've thought of.

Pre-Assessment--Use Kahoot! to gauge students' background knowledge before beginning a unit. If the students have a strong background knowledge of a certain aspect of the unit but lack knowledge in another, you know where to focus your attention during lessons.

Formative Assessment--See how much of the knowledge the students retained at the end of a lesson.

Review--replace your old review games with Kahoot! Students will actually be excited to review for a test for once.

21st Century Skills--One of the most important aspects of 21st century skills is not simply instructing students how to consume technology, but to use their knowledge to create technology products of their own. In this format, students can create quizzes of their own to share with the class.

I can speak from personal experience when I say that Kahoot! gets the students extremely active. Even the most unresponsive students became excited when they know we will be playing Kahoot! Give it a try and let me know if you find any new ways to use Kahoot!

Here is a quick demo of how Kahoot! works, by Dan Gibson:


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