Sunday, May 11, 2014

What's the Big Kahoot?

Have you ever done an activity with your students where they love it so much, that they ask to do it again?  Every day?  Multiple times a day?  Meet Kahoot!  Try it once and your students will be begging for more.  Don't worry - you will happily oblige because they secret is that they are having so much fun that they don't even realize how much they are learning.

What you need: Some devices, ideally one per student.  They can use tablets, laptops, cell phones, iPods - anything that has an internet connection and a web browser.  You will also need a device for yourself as the game administrator.  Again, it can be a laptop, iPad, etc.  A Smartboard is very helpful, especially one that the students can view easily.  If your laptop is connected to the Smarboard, that will also be extremely helpful!  Speakers are not required, but the music is catchy!  They change up the suspenseful tunes every so often, but it adds to the competitive mood of the game.

To start the game: On your teacher device, you will go to  Go ahead and make a bookmark for yourself.  Click on "Get My Free Account" and follow the quick steps to set up your account.  You may want to choose a username that is easy for you to remember, especially if you want to share quizzes later.  The login screen will look like this:

On each student device, students will go to  Again, have them bookmark the site.  If they are using an iPad, iPod or iPhone, they can click the Share icon (located next to the address bar; it looks like an envelope with an arrow coming out of it), and then select "Add to Home Screen."  If will save the Kahoot! site and appear on the home screen, similar to an app.  The icon is a purple square with a white "K!" Your observant students will quickly notice that the background to the website changes colors.  It will look like this:

As the teacher, you will login to your Kahoot! page and choose a quiz.  You may create your own quiz, which is very easy to do.  You may also choose a quiz from the thousands of publicly shared quizzes.  (Please take a moment to preview the quiz before you show it to your class!)  Once you "LAUNCH" the quiz, students should see your teacher page on the Smartboard, and they will see a Game Pin number.  Students will enter the Game pin on their Student page to join the game.  After they enter the pin and press Enter, the next screen will ask them for their Nickname.  (I usually ask my students to use their real name to avoid confusion.)  As soon as they enter their name and press Enter, their name will appear on the Smartboard to show that they have joined the game.  Once all of your students have joined, you can go ahead and begin.  I have played Kahoot! with more than 200 people, so I am not certain there is a limit - you are only limited by the number of devices you have.  

When you begin, the Smartboard will show the question first.  After a few seconds, it will show the question with some answer choices.  Each answer choice correlates to a color and shape.  These images are shown on the student devices.  (Students do not see the questions or answer choices on their device.  This is why they need to be able to see and read the Smartboard.  Or you can read the question and answer choices to the students.)  Students will select which answer they think is best on their device by touching or clicking the color/shape combo.  Then they will get a message that they are waiting for other players until everyone has answered or time runs out.  After everyone has answered (or time has run out), students will see if their answer was correct or incorrect.  As the administrator, you can advance the screen to show a bar graph or overall student performance.  It will not show which students got the answer right or wrong, but a summary of the responses.  

There are lots of features and options to check out to enhance your Kahoot! experience.  I hope you and your students will enjoy playing Kahoot! as much as my students and I enjoy it!  Please feel free to post comments if you try it out!  Thanks for reading and Happy Kahooting!  :)

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