By Fran Siracusa
I am here spreading the good news that the creators of one of the most engaging online educational games, Kahoot!, launched their inaugural Twitter chat this afternoon! In the spirit of learning, sharing, and engaging, I wanted to share here one awesome way that a fellow educator engaged her students with her course content and Kahoot!; and made an exponential difference when she extended it to her students' families and life at home:
My son's 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Galley, is currently utilizing Kahoot! both in and outside of the classroom. Her idea is simple, but incredible! She uses the Kahoot! as part of her Homework assignment to "make learning awesome!"
Mrs. Galley uses the Kahoot! website to create a game based on her Religion class Chapter Review questions as preparation for an upcoming test. The day before the test, during class, she has the students play her game. Then, she emails the parents of the students that afternoon, encouraging the parents and the students (and their family members) to play the Kahoot! game at home themselves, both to encourage content study, but also to spend family time together. At the same time, she confided in me that she was experimenting to see if the students could successfully "bring technology home."
I personally and successfully engaged students with Kahoot! in my own Spanish language classroom, but I never thought to encourage the students' families to play with the Kahoot! games my students and I created with the class content. This method is much more engaging than studying from a paper study guide for an upcoming test. Also, it helps with knowing sample questions that may be on the teacher's test. Additionally, it can be fun to see (or hear about how) the students beat their parents in the game, especially if the parents (like me) were not so familiar with the content studied!
Here below is a copy of the email Mrs. Galley sent out to the families:
I have sent out the Kahoot! Religion review that we used today in class to help prepare for the test tomorrow. Your child should be able to play it at home if they would like to. I am including the link in this email. Your child is familiar with Kahoot!, but has most likely never run a Kahoot! before. This is a great time for them to practice! You will need at least 2 devices to play. Both will need internet access (or wifi). One device will need to display the game, the other will be used to answer questions, just like we do in class using the smartboard (my computer) and the iPads.
The link is https://play.kahoot.it/#/k/dcaba596-db4e-4c35-b1dd-c9870a8736bb
I encourage you to play against your child, or have them play with someone in the family. It does take the game pin (the kids know what that is) a minute to load---it is not the multiple zeros that appear at first.
I hope that this experiment with bringing technology home works well. Please know that there is not a penalty for your child if it doesn't work---I am just hoping to help make the studying a little more pleasant for everyone at home tonight.
Have a great day!
I hope that fellow educators can experience the value of such an engaging classroom tool as Kahoot!, and I look forward to participating in a future Twitter #Kahootchat on Sundays at 3:00 pm EST. Furthermore, I am simply struck by how amazing it is for another educator to take an idea, and morph it into an even better experience for her stakeholders and students. Thanks, Mrs. Galley, for thinking outside-of-the-box! You are are an EDU-HERO!