The ABCs of Providing CI Through Remote Learning: K is for Kahoot

Of all the game-based learning platforms available today, the one that has been around the longest and is the most popular is Kahoot (Kahoot has been around so long that you can find multiple websites online describing how to “hack” a Kahoot game, which my thirteen-year-old did in his Spanish class back in January. So proud!). In physical classrooms, teachers project quiz questions to the class and students choose the correct answer to the questions on an electronic device using a web browser or Kahoot app. Teachers can use a Kahoot game to review content or as a formative assessment.

Disclosure: I have no affiliations with Kahoot. I just like sharing tools that help World Language teachers provide more CI to their students. 

Earlier in this series, I wrote about Gimkit, another game-based learning platform. In that post, I wrote about three ways that Gimkit could be used in a remote learning environment. Specifically, I talked about playing a game in a live class on Zoom or Google Hangouts, having students complete a kit independently but still competing against each other to see who can earn the most money, and having students contribute questions to a kit that the class creates and then plays together.

Classes can also do activities similar to these using Kahoot. Classes can play the live Kahoot game in a synchronous class on Zoom or Google Hangouts. Challenge Mode allows students to complete a Kahoot game independently at their own pace but still compete against other students completing the same game. Lastly, students can create their own Kahoot game questions which, as I said in my Gimkit post, should increase engagement as students read questions carefully to see if it is one they contributed to the game.

Although Kahoot and Gimkit sound very similar, I see a few distinct differences between them. First, Kahoot only asks each question once, whereas Gimkit questions repeat themselves until the prescribed game time is over. That repetition is certainly valuable if you are using your Gimkit questions as a sneaky source of input. Second, while students can play a Kahoot game or a Gimkit kit independently, only Kahoot games can be played without a time limit. In theory this should help them read questions more carefully and interact with the input more closely. Third, Kahoot lacks a function similar to the Gimkit Kit Collab function, which allows an entire class to create a Gimkit kit together by contributing online questions that the teacher can preview. Finally, both Kahoot and Gimkit have free versions (and paid versions that offer more options), but the free Kahoot version offers a lot more than Gimkit does. Gimkit only allows teachers to create five kits with the free version, and it also limits the number of times you can edit those kits once you’ve made them. The free Kahoot account allows teachers to make as many free games as they want.

If you decide to add Kahoot to your remote learning plans, I advise you to use it sparingly so it doesn’t lose its allure (Which is the same thing I said about Gimkit in this post, but I would use Kahoot even less frequently than Gimkit). For what it’s worth, I have a paid version of Gimkit so I can create more than five kits and because I really like the Kit Collab option. But to each his own!

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