Mon | Aug 21, 2017

Techno-tools for teachers

Published:Sunday | April 2, 2017 | 4:00 AMGen Clacken

The paradigms of teaching have changed over the years. in this age of information superhighway, the black and white boards are being complemented by touch screen 'smart' devices. As an educator, there are tools out there which help enhance course delivery. today we look at Kahoot!

 

WHAT IS IT?

 

Kahoot! is a game-based learning platform designed to bring life to question-based activities in the classroom. The platform was launched in 2013 and has around one billion users worldwide, according to the company.

Kahoot! has been designed based on the theory of motivation and uses game-based principles, such as competition, to engage students, increase classroom participation and measure the achievement of learning objectives. Kahoot! is used by students and teachers at every grade level and is a hit even among university students and faculty.

 

HOW DO YOU ACCESS IT?

 

As Kahoot! is web-based, you will need access to the Internet to create your account and use it in your classes. Once you have created your account, you are able to access a number of features and support resources, including videos that give detailed guidance on how to create and implement your Kahoot! There is also a quiz bank comprising activities created by other teachers from around the world, and these quizzes span a plethora of topics and subject areas. The quizzes can be used in their original state and can also be modified to meet the specific needs of your learners.

 

HOW DO YOU USE IT?

 

Kahoot! is great when you plan to use questions to introduce lessons, activate prior learning or assess student learning at the end of a lesson. To use this technology in your classroom, you will need high-speed Internet, a multimedia projector and a screen surface. Your students will need handheld devices, such as tablets and smartphones, that are able to access the Internet. The good thing about this tool is that students can use their devices as individuals or in groups.

Before your lesson begins, you will need to create your questions and answer options, including selecting your correct responses. Questions can be timed and scored to increase the level of competition, and each Kahoot! activity created can be configured so that feedback relating to each question can be shared with your students in the quiz experience.

Once the classroom is prepared and the game is enabled, students will enter the virtual game room from their devices by logging on to https://kahoot.it with a specific PIN number that you will share with them.

When all the students have entered the game room, questions are projected on the screen and students use their handheld devices to select the correct answer. The teacher can control the pace at which questions are asked and how much learning is clarified between each question.

When all the students have responded to a question, the software will share feedback information pertaining to each question, such as: who answered the question correctly, how many players selected each option, and how many points have been earned by each player per question.

Kahoot! allows you to upload pictures, audio and video clips in order to diversify the kind of questions. You can even use the platform to host discussion activities and administer short or impromptu surveys.

 

WHY SHOULD YOU USE IT?

 

While schools in Jamaica are still trying to decide if and how handheld devices can be incorporated in the learning process, users of Kahoot! consider it a fantastic tool for developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

According to feedback from the users, it is also a good way to energise and motivate learners in your class while providing them instant feedback on performance. It is easy to use, engaging and fun and demonstrates why game-based learning is a best practice in any classroom.

 

SUMMARY

 

Tool: Kahoot!

Classification: Game-based Learning Technology

Location: https://getkahoot.com/

Classroom Application:

- Engagement/Introductory Activity

- Evaluation/Culminating Activity

Cost: Free

- Gen Clacken is an educational technologist with 15 years experience in online education, she can be contacted at gen.clacken@lamadinteractive.com