tiistai 5. marraskuuta 2013

Socrative vs. Kahoot!

My endless resource of new ideas for the last five years has been Twitter. There are so many brilliant teachers, principals, other school administratives and companys sharing their best links, ideas, blog posts etc. And because Twitter is global, it goes on 24/7. Every morning I wake up I check my Twitter feed. Many times it gives me something new to try out at school.

Last week I found a new, interesting site called GetKahoot.com. Kahoot is a student response system much like the Socrative is. Teacher can make quizzes, start web discussions or make surveys. This far these two are almost identical.

The main difference between these two platforms is that the gamification element of Kahoot is much stronger. The solution is really simple. They've added points to the game. After each question you'll get the scoreboard on the whiteboard and you'll also recieve personal feedback like: "Congratulations Joe! You have 5230 points. You're at the 5th place right after Jill at the 4th place." So simple and yet so clever!

It's incredible how the pupils' engagement grows 200% when there is this competition element included. I didn't believe my eyes when there was this sports-like celebration after every question "Yes", "Wohooo", "Ooooh my my". The kids where having a PlayStation-moment during a normal history lesson. They actually wanted to play the game THREE times. I've never seen this happen in a classroom.

This class of 5th graders is really good in history. We are doing a project on ancient Greece history at the moment. They are doing it in groups. Each group has to produce some kind of media production. Some groups use Prezi, some do Padlet and some do a quiz with Socrative. I like Socrative too. It's great. But just like the children I'm a little sorry I found Kahoot only a week ago and didn't introduce it to the class before today.

In every good game there are three basic elements that make the game so engaging that you don't want to quit playing. First, there has to be a goal to achieve, something to go for. Second, the game usually gives you instant positive feedback. And finally third, it has to give you enough of a challenge to keep the motivation strong.

Kahoot pretty much has these all. The goal is to be the winner of your class. Kahoot gives you instant feedback after every single question. It even gives you personal instant feedback. It was so funny to look at these children smile when they saw their name and points on the screen of their own mobile device or school laptop.

Kahoot doesn't give the price for free for teacher. Teachers are still needed to produce the right questions for the class... or are they? Why can't you just let your pupils log in and start producing their own Kahoots. Because "great learning starts by asking great questions".

ps. I have to say that I don't get any profit from Kahoot for this blog or myself but I suggest you try it yourself and you'll understand why am I so enthusiastic about it. And I'm not saying that a simple quiz machine solves the problems of learning. No! It's just that every now and then you'll have to have some fun in the classroom. Today we definately had lots of fun. I'm really sorry that I can't publish the great video of the class today. I want to respect the will of the parents of these children and not to show their faces on a public internet site, like my blog is. But I promise you'll get the exact same results if you just give Kahoot a shot. It was amazingly easy to do the quiz.

ps2. If you want to play my first Kahoot, you'll find it here. Unfortunately it's in Finnish.

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