Using “Kahoot!” with HOOTS of JOY and of OY

Smooth sailing Naomi's Photos
Smooth sailing
Naomi’s Photos

“Kahoot!” is defined as “a free game based learning platform that makes if fun to learn – any subject, in any language, on any device for all devices”.  Broadly speaking, the students use their cell phones as clickers and get immediate feedcack on interactive activities such as quizzes. After listening, reading and hearing countless reccomendations and creative ideas from a large number of teachers, I decided to brave the complexities of my learning center and start using it too.

HOOTS OF JOY – it IS fun, most of the kids DO like it, AND (one of the things I was most worried about) there were enough students who already knew how to use “Kahoot!” to lead the others without me having to explain. This is no trivial matter in my Special-Ed classroom – the introduction of a new activity, even a really fun one, can easily be derailed by the wrong choice of words, especially as this one involved use of the students’ personal cell phones for a class activity. I was so pleased! I WILL be using it again!

Naomi's Photos
Naomi’s Photos

Hoots of OY :

I teach in a learning center for the deaf and hard of hearing. This creates a complex situation in a number of ways.

1) There is no projector to project the screen for everyone to see.  Students crowd around a computer.

Yesterday a group of students  played while the others didn’t. Just to be clear, its not that I didn’t let them all play.  Five students (11th and 12th graders ) who still had work to do for their Literature Logs, (report cards are just around the corner)  flatly refused to participate. The other five were delighted for the break in routine.

“Kahoot!” has a competitive aspect and encourages boisterous reactions. In the past, there were no cochlear implants and teens often stopped using their hearing aids. In short, I had a lot of students who were really didn’t hear anything. There was no problem with some students getting excited, loudly, over a game while others were working.

This is no longer the case. The noise level was an issue. “Kahoot” seems to be suitable for when all the kids are onboard.

Half and half Naomi's Photos
Half and half
Naomi’s Photos

2) My students can’t hear / understand me if I’m talking behind their back. If I want to comment on the question (or give a hint) they all have to turn around, away from the computer and lose time. Probably a problem that would be solved in the computer room.

3) My classes are multi-level (from students who barely read to students at the highest level) and multi grade, all jumbled up. They cannot all play with the same quiz if I desire an actual language learning experience.  Matching pictures to names of cartoon characters or brand names to their logos seemed to be the only type of thing  they could all share. I created a “Kahoot!” called “Can you identify the teacher?” with general trivia questions related to teachers on our staff. Despite using basic vocabulary, some of the weaker students simply waited for the stronger ones to translate the questions for them and didn’t attempt to read on their own.

If the quizzes are at the right level for the weak students and they are by themselves (without their friends, the immidiate translators) I’m sure they would read the questions. Which brings me back in a loop to point number one. Some students need to play while others are doing something else…

More experimenting is called for – wait for updates!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *