I have become obsessed with Kahoot! It is a free online, game-based learning platform that can be used for any content area and easily integrates technology into your classroom. I had heard about it, had attended a professional development session about it, but had no idea if I could actually use it in the arts classroom. Well, we did… and it was amazing!
My Technology Review of Kahoot! A Game-based Learning
When I evaluate these programs, I judge them based on this set of specific criteria:
- Ease of Use: Is the program easy to use for teachers and students
- Pros: What is good about the program
- Cons: What can be improved or can cause instructional hiccups
- Classroom Application: Can students use this program in other content areas and for a range of topics?
Ease of Use: Is the program easy to use for teachers and students?
Yes! Teachers signup and log in with an email account. Once a user, you can create your own games or kahoots. You can also copy existing games from others and adapt them to fit your needs. Students sign in using a game code from any device that has an internet connection and you’re off and rolling with amazing game-based learning ideas. Teachers need to project questions to a visible screen for all students and they answer the questions on their own device. Kahoot! keeps track on a leaderboard that is shown after questions are answered, so students can compete.
- Teachers can tailor kahoots for their specific needs, content areas, or units of study.
- Kids love it! Even my middle schoolers! They were so excited and cannot wait to do it again.
- It is a wonderful way to integrate technology into any classroom environment.
- Kahoot! tracks wrong answers, so you can assess how many students missed a specific concept and revisit it.
- The answers can only be true or false, yes or no, or multiple choice. This can be a limitation. There is a new game on Kahoot! called Jumble. This challenges students to place correct answers in a correct order.
- Since students receive more points for quicker answers, it can emphasize speed over substance. It is a good program for review, but not for instruction.
Classroom Application: Can students use this program in other content areas and with a range of topics?
- YES! Kahoot! is a program that can reinforce concepts in any classroom.
How to Use it: Tips and Tricks for Success
In the art classroom, I was shocked to learn that my students did not know the basic artists or their work. No one in my class could identify “Starry Night” and they had no idea who Van Gogh was. Because we have such a short time with them, they are only exposed to those we introduce around a lesson.
So, I was inspired to create an Art Kahoot! that included a range of questions about specific works of art, artists, the elements and principles of art, and artistic processes. The first time we played, it was a little rocky because they did not have previous knowledge. I asked them to just select their best guess. After each question, we went over the correct answer and I added some background information. A fun fact about the artist, or the history of the process that was featured.
When we played it again, they were quick to answer and recalled the information. A week later, we tried it again and they did much better. Now they request it every week. Though this focuses on memorization, I am relieved that they are at least being exposed to basic art knowledge in the short time I see them.
Students can also help create Kahoot! questions. This provides an added layer of instruction.
- Pay attention to how long you give students to answer the questions. When you create your kahoot, you can select specific time limits. If the time is too long, students will google the answers, but if the time limit is too short, they will become frustrated. I found that for harder questions, 30 seconds was a good time limit and for easier ones, I selected 20 seconds. That seemed to work the best.
Try it! You won’t regret it! Kahoot! is a wonderful tech tool that encourages game-based learning in a fun and engaging way. If you are hesitant, try it with your family or friends first. Teachers love it for its flexibility and learning capabilities. Students love it because it is a blast!