GLOBAL KAHOOT GAME
A few months ago I came across a post that a colleague in my Professional Learning Community posted about this new web-based game called Kahoot. Being the curious tech geek that I am, I had to check it out.
A little background, my fifth graders this year have 1-to-1 iPads. I figured, “Why not find as many resources as I can to engage my students” After a few reviews of this website I realized I had to create a free account. I spent literally only a few minutes browsing the simple, user-friendly site to come to the conclusion that I had to try it out with my students. So that afternoon I searched Kahoot’s public games. I found a math game that fit perfectly to my curriculum. I had my math students test out a “public” game that another teacher had contributed on area and perimeter. The vibe in my classroom changed immediately. My students were on the edge of their seats. Their excitement fed my desire to dig deeper into this new tool.
As I looked closer into the game I realized that not only do the kids use their devices to answer, but the game gives me a profile for each student. How perfect is that? It shows me what questions each student got right or wrong. There is also a quick feedback survey at the end of the quiz. Instant feedback is an important component of formative assessment. I latched on immediately.
After playing the game a few times I started thinking about the different ways that students could use this. Being a connected educator I naturally reached out to my global PLN, HLW (Hello Little World) Skypers network. This is a group of more than 200 educators from around the globe with whom connect, collaborate and communicate with on a regular basis. I thought, “Why not connect classrooms around the world using Kahoot?” Within one hour we had a “Global Kahoot” game set with a few simple connections.
During the game I used the teleconference tool called Appear.in . Usually I use Skype or Google Hangout, but I wanted to try out something new. If you are not familiar with Appear.in it is a fantastic web-based platform which allows up to 8 people/classrooms to connect with each other for free. No downloads, no drivers, no gimmicks. Just a no nonsense website that also allows for screen sharing. I connected with Mrs. Theresa Allen’s classroom from Joilet, IL as well as Steve Sherman from Cape Town, South Africa. Both of these educators have been colleagues and friends of mine for a few years via HLW Skypers Network. Theresa and I decided that for the first one, why not add a global flare. I shared my control screen while everyone took the “Flags of the World” quiz. It was amazing to have more than 50 students and three teachers all together playing the same game. The results were better than expected.
KAHOOT & LITERATURE CIRCLES
Being a 1-to-1 Ipad class, I have had numerous surprises this year. Often times my students will grasp on to an idea and their creative engines start turning. What happened next amazed me.
I passed out novels and my students were assigned to leveled literature groups. Everyday the students had to read a section of the novel and come prepared to discuss what they had read. Not only were they in charge of making the decisions about how much to read each night, but the group had to create student-generated homework assignments. In the past when I had done this students often times would come up with assignments such as unknown vocabulary word definitions, journal entires, questions to ponder, story board drawings of the reading, ect. What happened this week stunned me.
As I was walking around and listening to discussion of the reading from the previous night I heard a group across the room say, “Alright, does everyone have their Kahoot game created from last night?” I had to investigate what was going on.
As I approached the group I noticed one student that was logged into Kahoot. She was pulling up her Game Pin. I asked her how she got an account and she replied, “We all made accounts last night. It was the homework that we all agreed on. We had to create a quiz for our group members to take today. Do you want to play with us?” I had so many questions for them.
Did I want to play…… Ha.. Are you crazy? Of course I wanted to play. I had no idea that students could create accounts and generate quizzes, not to mention be able to do it all from their iPads. I was amazed. I quickly grabbed my iPad and joined in the games. Needless to say, I stayed with this group for the entire hour of literature circles. The amount of discussion that took place based on the quizzes was rich and filled with text-based evidence. It was one of those moments where I realized that these kids had taken control of their own learning. Now all I could do is sit back and go along for the ride.