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Getting More Out of Your Kahoot!

July 5, 2016

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ve probably used, or know someone who uses, Kahoot (visit getkahoot.com for more info). The anticipation-building ‘learning game’ is most often used by teachers as an extrinsic motivator; a reward at the end of a lesson and a superficial means to test for understanding. But what if we flipped it?

 

Now, before we get all crazy thinking about how we can use Kahoots as pre-classroom learning, let me clarify a few things. Yes, I am a Flipped Learning advocate, there’s no doubting that, but I’m not talking about flipping the Kahoot per say. I’m talking about flipping the responsibility; I’m talking about students becoming peer teachers utilising the excitement of Kahoot; I’m talking about using critical and creative thinking skills with the time saved by a traditional flip; I’m talking about students developing deeper knowledge without the need for extra teacher preparation. That’s crazy talk, right? Wrong!

 

Imagine this: Your students have entered the classroom armed with the basic knowledge and understanding provided to them via flipped content. During the first five minutes, you informally assess their level of understanding and differentiate them ready for their critical thinking tasks. What if that assessment could be done via Kahoot, but without teacher-led content creation?

 

Over the last six months, I have been trialing student-led Kahoots. After all, as the Latin proverb suggests, "We learn by teaching'. Albert Einstein further suggested that "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough". In passing the responsibility on to the students, basic recall of facts is no longer enough. More often than not, students are surprised at how difficult it can be to come up with four (seemingly) viable responses to a multiple choice question. By giving them control over the questions and answers (obviously with teacher facilitation), students are afforded a sense of ownership over content. They are forced to develop a more intricate understanding of subject matter in order to develop appropriate distractors; ones that stump their friends and force them to question their own level of understanding.

 

Sure, Kahoot still serves a superficial reward purpose under certain circumstances (I'm yet to see a Kahoot fall flat), but the opportunity to harness deeper learning simply by flipping responsibilities is worth the payoff. So next time you use a learning game like Kahoot, consider flipping it - your students will embrace the challenge!

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