Semester Review? Get a Kahoot!

Monday, our first day back from the holidays, and I have first crack at energizing teachers in our first edtech PD session of the new year. Batter up. First pitch: Kahoot! . . . Homerun!¬†From the first question, it was game on! I’ve never seen a group of teachers (especially high school) get so excited and turn as competitive as my @dubiskijaguars crew. If you haven’t tried it, it’s a must.

Kahoot Options

Kahoot touts itself as a “game-based classroom response system.” In a nutshell teachers (and students) can create quizzes (called Kahoots), discussion, or survey questions for their audience. It’s a super easy process, and users can also add pictures or video to customize each question. Using any Internet-enabled device, participants enter the game. When the Kahoot is launched, they’re given a URL and a specific game-pin to play. No accounts needed! The madness begins as players race to answer questions in real time, are awarded points for each correct answer, and compete to see whose name tops the leader board throughout the game.

In addition, teachers have the option to search the public database for Kahoots. That’s what I did even though I had created my own. It was a great way to demonstrate how sharing resources can make for great teaching and learning – that whole, “Why reinvent the wheel?” thing. I duplicated a Pre-AP world geography Kahoot from user filmpatterson¬†and was able to make a few edits that I wanted. The cool part is my dashboard indicates that the Kahoot is a copy and still gives credit to the original creator!

Kahoot Dashboard

Our staff quickly realized that each question was timed, as they frantically raced to score points. As I readied them for the next question, we talked about how the learning continues through discussions as they facilitate each round. It was a gold mine of curiosity, learning, excitement and engagement – everything we want in a positive learning environment – and many were already preparing for use in their own classrooms. Didn’t take long. Semester exams are next week. Guess what became the top choice for review? I love making teachers happy . . .

Screencast Alive!

As December approaches, Instructional Media Specialists in my District are readying for the next Milestone – the one teachers and professional staff are required to learn for professional development. The Milestones? I’ll talk about those in another post, but for now just know that being able to record a lesson and post it to Edmodo, our social learning platform of choice, is imperative.

So, before the IMSs meet to discuss strategies and ideas for supporting teachers with this implementation, I created a Thinglink to highlight some tools that could be used in the classroom for teaching and learning.

Many teachers are already using several of these apps and tools – free and paid to create lessons for blended courses, design tutorials, leave instructions for substitute teachers, and more. Now that it’s the expectation, it’ll be interesting to see how the others jump on board – one upload, one voice narration, one annotation at a time. Maybe they’ll get a little motivation from math teacher, Susan Regalia’s ShowMe. It’s funny, but effective!

Imaginary Numbers