Why use kahoot in the classroom?

itI discovered kahoot quizzes this spring though one of my students. Since then I have come to use them all the time. So what are kahoot quizzes and why do I use them?

What are kahoot?

kahoot_meta_og_imageQuick answer: A free online group quiz service that lets you test vocabulary and trivia. The students compete against each other in timed quizzes.

Kahoot is a quiz service that is free on the web. To create quizzes you go to create.kahoot.it where you make a quiz. You can create as many quizzes you want or use or modify other people’s quizzes. Each question has up to four answers and you have multiple right answers for a question. Once you have created your quiz press play and turn on the projector where the quiz will run. Your students will play at their computer, tablet or smart-phone. The students don’t need an app, they just go to the website shown on the projector. Your students go to the address and pick a nickname.  The you control the pace of the quiz. They compete against each other and someone wins. They have to look up to the screen to see the answers, on their screens there are only colors to choose from. The screen shows how many have answered and how much time they have left.

Why do I use kahoot?

Quick answer: The students love it, it is engaging and they are quick to make

I use kahoots for a number of reasons:

  • Energizers: They works as energizers, though they don’t get the students moving they re-engage the mind. I teach long blocks (three hours) so sometimes I have to add something that get them laughing and re-interested.
  • The students love them: The element of competition and play engages even the bored students who tend to be desk huggers. They also tell me that they think they help them remember the vocabulary.
  • Test understanding: They let me test their understanding without doing a test or without me grading anything.
  • Not scary: Unlike a test kahoots are not scary. Even the quiet students tend to engage in them and some of those who never say anything will excel – boosting their confidence for regular class work.
  • Quick to make. It takes me about 5-10 minutes to make a quiz. Either I make my own from the ground up or a base my quiz off others’.
  • Engagement: They engages the students in the rest of the lesson: If I tell the class that we will finish today’s class with a kahoot, then their engagement in the class work beforehand raises and they are more concentrated. They want to do well on the quiz to get bragging rights. They will even work faster and harder than without the kahoot.
  • Variation: Like most other teachers I tend to fall into the trap of creating my lessons from the same tried and tested structure. This gets boring after a while – adding the kahoots adds a little spice.
  • Review: Old kahoots works really well as a way of reviewing the material from earlier in the course. If I don’t have a kahoot ready for a lesson but need an energizer, then I will pick an old kahoot and run it.
  • Accuracy over speed: The way the point system is set up kahoots rewards accurate answers.

My tricks

  • 8-15 questions works best. It is long enough that it makes sense to bring out the devices but not so long that they lose attention. If you need more than that, make two quizzes and you get to look like they swayed you, when they ask for “one more” and you got one ready to go.
  • I bring an extra tablet because someone always need to borrow one.
  • Nicknames: I like to get them to use their own name  for better bragging rights and I can keep track of how they are doing. Or you can let them chose a random nickname and take some pressure off them.
  • Clear up misunderstandings: If a number of the students get a question wrong, I tend to take the time to clear up the misunderstandings right then and there before continuing to the next question. Or if it is a larger topic when I make a mental note and make sure I have time to cover it again later. Or if it is something that the rest of the class know by now I reassigned reading to those who didn’t get it.
  • Silly answers: If you can’t think of 4 plausible answers put in an outrageous one, and then the quick students have something to laugh at while they wait for the rest.

Published by

Sidsel Pedersen

Danish. High school teacher. Cand. mag in history & social studies. Reader of SF&F literature, roleplayer, gamer and happy home cook.

One thought on “Why use kahoot in the classroom?”

  1. Such a good article, Sidsel! Really interesting to read about your use of Kahoot! and your tricks! Please drop me an email. Best, Kaja from Kahoot!

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