This continuing education course for teachers was helpful because it taught me different ways to use Kahoot. Coming into this course, I only used Kahoot in one way: to review for exams. In addition to using them for review, I now use Kahoot in different ways, depending on the outcome I would want from the Kahoot.
The first way that I have started using Kahoot differently is by using Kahoot as an initial teaching tool. The technique is known as “Blind Kahoot”, in which students learn the material while playing the Kahoot (1). On initial blind questions, I embed Youtube videos or images that give students hints at the correct answer. After explaining the correct answer, the next question will be a follow-up question that builds on the blind question. I have already built and tried a blind Kahoot, called “How to use a balance”, and plan on using blind Kahoots to help expose students to new content.
The second way that I am using Kahoot differently is that I am using it as an ice-breaker. At the beginning of the school year, I made a lesson plan with the purpose of having students know one another. Students shared interesting facts about themselves and recorded their classmates’ interesting facts. I created a Kahoot with each persons’ interesting fact, and students were tested on how much they knew about one another the next day. This was a fun way of introducing students to one another, and I plan on using this icebreaker in future years.
The third way I am now using Kahoot is as a survey for feedback. Using Kahoot for feedback gives immediate feedback to the instructor and immediate visual feedback for students. At the end of the first quarter, I gave a survey on how my students thought my class was going. I asked questions about what they felt like their strengths and weaknesses were. The data was saved on Google drive and used to guide which topics to re-teach. In the future, I plan on using Kahoot to survey the school environment and share the results with administrators. I will also continue to use it in my classroom, asking students for feedback on their level of understanding for the current unit of study.
Fourth, I will use Kahoot as a means for students collaborating and learning from one another. For topics in which it is possible to assign different parts of a topic to different students, I am asking students to do their research and teach other students by creating their own Kahoot. Students learn the topic from one another while being engaged in the process. One example of when I am going to use this is teaching about the planets. Each group will be assigned a different planet and students will create their own Kahoot about their planet. One other example of this is teaching about the different drugs to avoid during health class. Each student group will research a different drug and create a Kahoot on the facts, side-effects, and risks of their specific drug.
These four ways that I will use Kahoot professionally are connected by the first point in the article that was introduced in module 1 of the course: 6 ways to make Kahoot awesome (2). As the first point states, doing some research up front will help me realize the purpose of the Kahoot and determine which of the 4 ways the Kahoot will be used. For example, if the purpose of my Kahoot were feedback, I would use the survey. If the purpose were to “hook” students into a topic, I would use the blind Kahoot.
Finally, this class reminded me of the importance of student-centered learning. As Saxena writes in her article(3), a student-centered classroom is one in which a student is directly involved in discovering and accumulating knowledge for themselves. A suggestion that I will apply immediately is making students do tasks on their own and take responsibility for their own learning. I will do this by having students create their own Kahoots to help one another learn.