Every teacher knows how powerful starting a class off on the right foot can be. When your students are having a good time right out of the gate, laughing and participating, the rest of the lesson is all but guaranteed to be smooth sailing. That’s why I was so happy when I was introduced to Kahoot.
In the past we’ve discussed exit slips, especially focusing on Socrative, but there’s something about the straightforward approachability and light natured fun of Kahoot that makes it instantly engaging both for teachers and students.
What is Kahoot?
Kahoot is a simple classroom clicker system that runs on any digital device. (Don’t get me started on companies that are still trying to convince schools to buy their old clunky clicker boxes!)
The interface runs online or through an app, so anybody with a smartphone, tablet, phablet, laptop, or anything else you can type a web address into can participate.
How does it work?
The teacher decides whether they want to make a multiple choice quiz, start a class conversation, or poll everybody. Then they jump in on the back end, create the questions, decorate it if they so choose, and launch it to their students.
Students then compete for fastest time and correct answers in order to get “Kahoots” (aka points), which is where the real fun starts.
See it in Action:
Things to Know:
The most important thing to know is that Kahoot is run through two websites, which can be confusing at first. You have to remember that GetKahoot.com is where the teacher signs up, sets up activities, and can explore their ever-expanding library of pre-made quizzes which are shared by other teachers and educators.
Meanwhile, Kahoot.it is where you send your students to actually play the game.
At this point, Kahoot is technically still in its Beta testing mode (thought it feels full fledged), so there are little additions and changes happening here and there. When you go in to set up your activities, you’ll choose between setting up a quiz, a discussion, or a survey.
Quiz: Direct multiple choice questions with up to 4 answers – you choose which answers are right and which are wrong.
Discussion: Multiple choice questions with NO right or wrong answers, this is not so much a game-type feature as it is meant to get a feel for the class’ thoughts on a subject and start a conversation.
Survey: Questions are neither marked as right or wrong directly but are used to poll the class as a whole.
Kahoot is a great way for teachers to get their students involved in class right from the start. I highly recommend it as a warm-up activity as it helps to bring the energy level up – and you can ride that wave for the rest of your class. Of course, you don’t have to share with your students that you’re also using the information to check comprehension, look for weak areas, or highlight particular themes.
Of course, you can also encourage your students to create their OWN quizzes for the class to play, which you can then share out. This allows you to get your students onto the production side of things to dig deep into their learning and get a strong feel for what they’re learning.
Set up your account at Kahoot right now – it’s totally free and I guarantee you won’t look back!