Kahoot a game-based classroom response system

Kahoot is a student response system. You may remember the old-fashioned clicker or you might be using Socrative. However Kahoot is different to those approaches because it incorporates gamification elements, which makes the learning process fun and engaging.

With this tool you can create game-like quizzes, discussions and surveys to challenge your students learning and make them participating in their learning process. Questions, along with answer choices, are projected in a classroom screen or projection, while students submit responses using a handset device (smartphone, tablet, notebook, etc)

As you can see in the picture bellow the devices display color and symbol choices only; the actual answer must be viewed on the classroom screen, the ones that submit their answer in less time get more points, which makes your to actively participate in the quiz.

One important thing is that playing a game Kahoot! doesn’t involve creating an account for each one of your students. Every Kahoot  that you create or use from the public ones available has a game PIN number, which the learners have to type in their devices and then write their names. Although, if you want to make your own quizzes you need to create a teacher’s account. To do it just follow my video tutorial:

A short summary of what you’ll need to use Kahoot with your students:

  • Internet access.
  • A screen monitor or projector.
  • Devices (smartphones, tablets, notebooks, etc), not necessarily one for each of your students, you can make them work with a partner or in a small group.
  • A Kahoot relevant to your class either made by you or others.

Is It good for Language Learning?

As any tool available to be used in the classroom you have to be very critical about it. I recommend you to first test it on your own or with your colleagues, discuss and reflect about it, improve your quizzes and then teach your students how to use it, so you can finally put it on practice.

You can make use of Kahoot to teach grammar, vocabulary or using a CLIL approach to discuss historical events, important celebrations, famous people around the world or the body parts. Everything depends on the topic you are working on in the class. The main idea behind this tool is to create useful and challenging content to support your teaching and promote your learners collaboration in the classroom. In this way they will be engaged and motivated to participate in the game, and you will be able to make them more critical about they learning.

At the end of every activity there is a scoreboard that displays the top 5 results, and your students will be able to provide feedback about the quiz with a star rating, yes/no questions and happy faces. Once they do that, you will be able to collect the entire information as an Excel file or directly on your Google Drive account.

The drawbacks.

There are three main problems that you need to consider when working with technology:

  • Disruption: Using internet or any device connected to it can be very useful but disrupting at the same time, controlling a large number of students and any other technological problem can transform your very nice game into a long nightmare.
  • Quality of the content: If you decide to use a public Kahoot try to check in the content available is useful but also challenging and of good quality. It will take some time to find a good one.
  • Quality of the feedback: Again, depending of the activity or topic you are working with you have to provide a good feedback, it’s not only having fun with the game, but learn, correct the mistakes and improve in the learning process.

Creating a Kahoot quiz.

Create a Kahoot quiz is very simple, just follow the following steps:

  1. Choose what you want to create. In this case a quiz.
  2. Write a name for your quiz, add questions and their answers.
  3. It’s done! Now you can mark some options before launching the game.

Playing

  1. Launch the game and wait for your students to join the Kahoot.
  2. They have to write the PIN number and their name.
  3. Start the game.
  4. While playing.
  5. Finishing and giving feedback.
  6. Collecting the results.

Link to my Kahoot example: https://play.kahoot.it/#/k/29277475-d733-45ad-a85b-a017a1efd0c8

You can see the previous steps in the following gallery:

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Padlet: more than just a digital cork wall!

Great ideas are produced when you work collaboratively as a group or team. However, depending of the number of people involved in each activity, to organize them could be a nightmare. Brainstorms, post-it notes, pictures, quotes, etc. are just a few examples of how to put ideas together in a cork wall or bulletin board in your classroom.If you want to expand this activity, it is a good idea to flip your classroom, one of the benefits of doing this is the possibility to reach all your students. A great tool to do this is Padlet.

Group work. Source: Flickr using Creative Commons License

Padlet is a free, simple and very easy to use digital cork wall. It can be used by the teacher and students to keep all the ideas, notes, brainstorms and everything they can imagine in one place. They can access to it from everywhere with just one link. Moreover, the notes can contain videos from youtube or a similar service, pictures, links and documents that you can upload from your computer or embed from your favorite cloud service (Dropbox, Onedrive, Google Drive, etc).

A few ideas to integrate Padlet in the classroom or outside of it can be:

  • Make noticeboards.
  • Teach.
  • Bookmark favorite sites.
  • Discuss.
  • Brainstorm.
  • Make greeting cards.
  • Plan events.
  • Keep notes.
  • Make lists.
  • Watch, share and discuss videos.
  • Learn.
  • Collect and provide feedback.

And even more using your creativity.

Padlet also includes a media viewer, that means that anyone with the permission to see the wall can scroll through all of the images, links, videos, and document files that have been posted in the notes on a wall. You can use it anonymously or create an account with a valid email, and there is an option to use your Google or Facebook accounts to log in. A paid version is also available but it is not really necessary, the free account works great.

If you are worried about privacy issues, you have to know that each of your walls can be set to private or public view, more options are also available in the settings page and you can modify them according to your preferences at any time. The teacher also has the possibility to moderate responses.

 

A basic tutorial of how to use Padlet.

 

01_Padlet

02_Sign in

  • Step 2: Create a new Padlet from your Dashboard. You can also see other options here.

03_Dashboard

 

  • Step 3: This is your first Padlet. Now you can modify your wall using the tools from the right dock.

04_wall

  • Step 4: Adjust the privacy.

09_Privacy

  • Step 5: Select a new layout.

08_Layout

  • Step 6: Write and edit your first post.

10_Example

11_edit or delete

12_Writing tools

  • Step 7: Share it and continue working on it.

06_Share options

An example picture:

13_ Final version

One idea to practice.

In one of our classes at university Natalia and I decided to use Padlet to complement one class in which the topic was a Gap Year.

A text from the British Council web page was adapted to use in classes (http://learnenglishteens.britishcouncil.org/uk-now/read-uk/gap-year).

Background.

  • Hypothetical target group of students

Our students are doing their last high-school year in either Chile or Uruguay. Some will attend university next year and others will join the workforce. Those who attend university may need to find a part-time job to be able to finance their studies.

  • Topic area that may motivate this group.

Our students are likely to be motivated by the topic area work, as they will see a clear connection between the topic and their lives in a year’s time. Anything related to this topic from specific vocabulary to CV and application letter writing will be useful to these learners. Alternatively, our students may want to do something different, something that is common in Europe but not so popular in South America: take a year off: a gap year.

  • Task:

Using Padlet the students add their ideas of what they will do when they leave school. They are expected to use Conditionals (If Clauses Type 1) starting with the sentence When I leave school …

You can check the result or even add new ideas visiting our Padlet.

Difficulties of working with Padlet.

One of the most important difficulties of working with Padlet is that you need to be always connected to internet to modify it and its performance can decrease if you do not have a good connection.

Another trouble is that requires the teacher to be alert of the content that can be shared, you have to protect your students from copyright issues such as videos, pictures and music. This can be easily done establishing a code of conduct, discussing and reviewing the digital literacy available online in a previous class.

Last but not least, always remember the pedagogy behind the use of this tool. It is not all about the technology itself but how to complement the content, engage, motivate and make your student learn with it.

myBrainshark – Add voice to your presentations

myBrainshark is a very useful cloud-based tool for teachers and students as well, that allows you to enrich your PowerPoint presentations with voice, narrate a document, do video presentations, make a photo album with your voice and even produce a podcast, and all of these for free.

There are tons of different ways in which you can use myBrainshark with your students, for example you can help your students to:

  • practice and improve their speaking skills.
  • make all students to participate, including those that are too shy to do it in a face to face escenario.
  • promote autonomous learning.
  • give feedback to their classmates and promote collaboration.
  • improve their listening skills with authentic material, watching others presentations.
  • give a space for reflection.
  • create a digital portfolio.

All of these activities helps you to create a new classroom environment known as “flipped classroom” which is a form of blended learning and can help you to save a huge amount of classroom time. So your students can concentrate on applying, rather than simply receiving ideas in class. With more time the teacher can have a better understanding of every learner and the way they are learning, paying attention to most of their needs and motivate them to continue making progress.

As mentioned before with the help of this tool you also offer students the opportunity to reflect on their learning, practise their speaking or listening skills and reduce the anxiety that they experiment in every assessment, helping them to gain confidence and progress.

For teachers myBrainshark can be an excellent opportunity to experiment with the virtual classroom environment, as they can complement their presentations with their own voice and in that way engage in a different way with all the participants.

There are of course some limitations for this tools, like all the time necessary to learn, create and polish your presentations, other presentation tools, such as Slideshare, Prezi or Presentme, the lack of a mobile application and also that it is mostly oriented to business, so it can be a little bit difficult to find educational topics, which it has been solved as many educator are using this tool.

To learn more about myBrainshark you can see the following introductory video by Russell Stannard:

And finally I invite you to see one of my examples in the following link:

http://my.brainshark.com/Benefits-of-ICTs-534609693

Have fun!