My first Kahoot!

Kahoot! was something I first heard about recently through the International House Online Conference. An easy app game where students use their smartphones or tablets to respond to questions. I thought summer school would be the perfect place to give it a go…

First, I signed up on the website. It’s free, easy to navigate around the site and there are tutorials to get you started. Soon I was writing my quiz – I thought it would fit a review class very well, so I gave them lots of questions about the language we’d studied that week.

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My class puzzling over some phrasal verbs
I told them this was an experiment and it was the first time I’d used it. It was also the first time they’d all used it and they were keen when I told them to get their phones out rather than put them away for once. Students download the app and you’re ready to go.

The question flashes up on the screen, they have some time to talk about it, then they vote. Groups are given points depending on whether they give the right answer and how fast they get it. The computer works all this out, so it’s easy on the teacher.DSC_0852[1]

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There were, of course, some problems…

Problem 1: “Nick! I can’t download the app!”

Currently there isn’t an app for iphones, only android. But, everyone can access it through a web browser. I wanted my students to play in groups anyway, so the 4 students who could download the app became team captains.

Problem 2: “Nick! We gave the right answer and it said we gave the wrong answer!”

Unfortunately there was no way for me to know if this was true, and no way for me to change the scores if it was true. I just had to tell them to be careful with which button they pushed (I’m pretty sure they pressed the wrong button).

Problem 3: “Nick! Our wifi (weefee) has stopped!”

I knew this was going to be an issue as the weefee can be sketchy in our school. We had to rearrange the grouping a bit so that everyone was in a hotspot. I now know where the best signal is in my classroom. 

But, despite these problems, I asked the students to rate it out of 10 at the end of our short trial – 1 being the worst experience they’ve ever had in their life and 10 being the best. They all voted it 8 or 9 – they’re only 13 years old so probably don’t have many contenders for ‘best experience ever’. Anyway, it was a huge success and they demanded we play it again on Friday.

I bowed to the pressure and came up with a general knowledge quiz for them on Friday. It took me two hours to make and only 30 minutes of classroom time. They loved it but I felt cheated out of my Thursday evening.

So, the next course of action? Get the students to make quizzes for each other. It gets them thinking about the language they’ve been studying, encourages group work and it’s really engaging as they know there’s going to be a fun end product.It’s also something students can do at home, really maximising classroom time.

From my point of view, it was good watching the results come in as it gave me immediate feedback as to who had got the target language that week, and who was struggling. I made some notes on certain questions that caused confusion.

So that’s how I’ve got on with Kahoot! so far. It’s not perfect, but the students love it! Give it a go and share your experiences in a comment.

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Just to clear up any confusion, they called their team Kahoot! – they were lacking in imagination that morning.
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