When I was a student, some of my favourite classes were the ones where the teacher played games with us. Bingo, 7-Up, spelling bees, Jeopardy – I loved all of them. Fast forward a few years and guess what? My students love playing games, too. Even better? If I choose the games correctly, they end up learning without even realizing it! Even even better? There’s some awesome technology to help me do this! Today, let’s have a look at Kahoot and Quizlet.
I was introduced to Kahoot a few years ago at a conference and I loved it right away. First off, it’s free. Really free – not freemium free (you know – the kind of site where the basic stuff is free but the really cool stuff costs money?) Secondly, with Kahoot, I am the only person in the class who needs an account. As an intermediate teacher, I want to keep the number of accounts my students have to a reasonable number, so this also makes me happy.
So…how does it work? Once you’ve created your teacher account, you can build your first “kahoot” by creating a multiple choice “quiz” for your students. Or, you can choose a kahoot that someone else has built! Once you have the kahoot you want, project your device and start the game. Your kids can play individually (on any internet enabled device) or in teams (one device per team). They go to kahoot.it, enter the code you’re given and then sign in with their first name.
Your computer will project the question, with 4 colour-coded possible answers. The kid’s devices will just show the four colour choices. As quickly as they can, they choose the correct answer and lock in their choice. When the time is up, the screen will show the correct choice as well as the top scorers (based on a combination of speed and correct answer). And it’s on to the next question!
You can access the results afterwards, if you want. I don’t tend to use Kahoot as actual assessment but more as a way to practice what we’re learning, so I don’t use the assessment side of the site.
Recently Kahoot added the ability to assign Kahoots as homework. I haven’t used this feature yet, but it looks promising. Here’s a blog post from Kahoot that explains it.
My kids love to play Kahoot. They get super excited and motivated. The only criticism I have is that the timed aspect of it can be intimidating for some students.
On to Quizlet. Quizlet has a large variety of applications, from flashcards to a collaborative classroom game. The base version is free and the upgraded version is $35 USD a year. I have the free version and it works fine for me.
Using Quizlet, you can create flashcards for your class, or use sets that have already been created by other teachers. Once you’ve created the basic flashcards, Quizlet automatically create 7 different ways that students can quiz themselves on the material, as well as a Quizlet Live game. You can create a class on Quizlet and invite your students to be a part of it or you can just send students a link to your quizlet and they can use it without signing up for anything. There is even an ability to add the Quizlet to your Google Classroom (I haven’t tried this yet but it looks like it works well!)
All of the applications of Quizlet are great but the one your kids will likely enjoy the most is Quizlet Live. When you use Quizlet Live, students go to www.quizlet.live, enter a code you give them and then enter their names. Quizlet will put them into random teams. (You need more than 4 kids to play). Kids then need to move and sit together in their teams and the game can begin. In the game, each student has some but not all of the information needed, so the students need to work together to be the first team to reach 12 correct answers. Getting a wrong answer resets your team’s score to 0, so students really have to collaborate and communicate.
Students can play on any internet enabled device. The teacher’s device shows team progress. One of the things I like about Quizlet is the flexibility. I can create a French vocabulary Study Set and my kids can use it independently to study their vocab in a variety of ways but they can also use it collaboratively to play a game in class. And by the way….playing Quizlet Live uses a number of the Core Competencies! (just sayin’!)
Playing games in class can be both fun and educational! Enjoy!