In this episode, we are talking about different game or quizzing apps that educators can use to engage their students. The specific platforms we are discussing are: Kahoot, Gimkit, Quizizz and Quizlet Live.
If you like what you hear please consider sharing this episode with others. Don’t forget to subscribe to our podcast on your favourite podcast app so that you don’t miss out on any of our new content.
Feeling adventurous? Do you know of another quiz or game app that your students love? Leave your feedback and questions on our FLIPGRID!
In normal times, we are always trying to come up with engaging activities to get our students involved with their learning, and to find ways to assess their learning in a way that is a little more fun!
With the shift to remote teaching, finding ways to engage and check for learning has become even more important. Our students are disengaging, and learning from home without teachers and peers is not an easy task. Checking in and ensuring your students are understanding new material is extremely important, and what better way than to incorporate a game?!
This week we talk about 4 main game apps: Kahoot, Gimkit, Quizizz and Quizlet Live. All of these can be used in face-to-face instruction, but they have the added benefit of being able to use them remotely as well.
Also, we talk a bit about cognitive science and how to use these tools to design a game that can reenforce and extend learning. Consider reading “Powerful Teaching: Unleash the Science of Learning” by Pooja Agarwal and Patrice Bain (link below) – it’s a great resource to get you thinking about the ways that you teach, and how to maximize learning in the classroom.
Let’s get started!
We first started using Kahoot over six years ago! It is hard to believe that so much time has passed. There have been a lot of changes over the years since Kahoot first started. It is definitely a useful game app or tool to consider moving forwad.
Here are some of the features of Kahoot that make it a relevant game app during remote learning, as well as in the traditional classroom:
Different types of questions
- multiple choice
- open ended queston
When selecting a template within Kahoot, it will take you to a quiz shell where they break down the type of question you should include, how complex it should be, etc. They also change the type of music according to how complex the question should be, whether it’s new learning, etc. It is amazing to see how they have really embraced the principles of cognitive science to build a game app that teachers can use to engage their students.
Not only is it fun, but there is a real purpose behind the various templates that they offer. These templates are:
One of our favourite templates is the “Teach with slides.” In this format, the teacher can insert lesson slides mixed with questions. It allows for learning, but also checking for learning within the same Kahoot!
Overall, these templates definitely make this a game app that teachers should check out! There are far more applications for this tool than there were when it first came out. We are excited to use this tool again!
There wasn’t always a question bank – this is a great feature that is available! No need to reinvent the wheel. Check out previously made Kahoot quizzes, and use any of those questions for your own Kahoot.
Not just a live game!
Traditionally, you could only play Kahoot as a live game. Students would have their own devices, where the colour/shape for the answers would appear on their phones, but they required either a second screen or a projected screen with the questions in the classroom.
This is no longer the case! You can now assign a game for students to complete at their own pace.
In assignment mode, the teacher sets up a due date, and chooses the settings for the game, and then copies the URL to share it with their students. You can also share via Google Classroom, Facebook and a few other platforms.
Once completed, the teacher can then see which students thought that the questions were difficult, who needed help, and how many students didn’t finish.
Kahoot has a sheets template for you to download and share with your students. From this spreadsheet, your whole class can actually work together to create the questions for the kahoot.
Free access to premium accounts from now until June 17, 2020
Virtual Event – Check it out!
June 17, 2020 – here is a link to register.
This is a newer game app for us. It was actually created by a high school student as a project. He wanted to create a fun and exciting platform for educators, and he has certainly accomplished his goal!
Each quiz or game is actually called a “kit.”
The basic Gimkit account has a limit of 5 kits. Each kit can only be edited once, so you really want to make sure that you take the time to sit down and include all of the questions that you would like.
This is by far the biggest downfall of this platform. Five kits is not that many, particularly if you like to play around with a tool when you are first starting to learn about it. And to limit the number of edits that you can make to a kit is a bit frustrating.
Also important to note: if you delete a kit, that kit still counts toward your total. So hang on to whatever kits you have made, otherwise you lose it forever. Once you hit the 5 kit limit, you can no longer create any new kits unless you upgrade your membership.
That being said, Gimkit is currently upgrading accounts to 10 kits due to the pandemic. Same messaging around the max, but it helps give you a bit more wiggle room, as five is definitely not enough.
One workaround for the kit limit: create a kit that reviews everything in your entire course. That way you have that kit every year if you teach the same course, and you don’t have to worry about making a new one or exhausting the kits in your free account.
Here are some of the features that we love about Gimkit:
You can create an assignment with a kit. This shares the kit as homework with your students. Your students can then work their way through the game at their own pace. A due date can be set, and if you have classes set up it is a great way to track student learning.
Create a Class
From a student privacy perspective, this is one of the perks with Gimkit. You can actually create a class without requiring student accounts. This will help protect student data. That being said, students outside of your class can join a game with this class setting.
There is also an option for creating a class where students have a student account. It ensures only your students can join, and requires guardian verification to create accounts if the student is under 13 years of age.
Much like other platforms or game apps, you can actually have your class collaborate to create a kit together. There are two options for this: KitCollab & creating a kit from a .csv file (spreadsheet).
Students join a game, and then submit a question to be added to the kit. The teacher can then accept or reject the questions. Once everyone has submitted a question, you can then play that game! It’s a neat feature!
Create from a spreadsheet
This method is more similar to other quiz or game apps. You create a spreadsheet with the questions in row A, and only the correct answers in row B. Once you are done, you save it as a .csv and upload it in Gimkit.
Gimkit is always changing the game modes to add an additional element of fun to the game. The themed modes are only available for a limited time, so keep checking it out to see what modes are available!
Some of the game modes include:
- Humans vs Zombies
- separates the class into humans and zombies, and they compete to win as a group
- Boss Battle
- pit one person against the group (teacher vs students?)
- Super Rich Mode
- earn as much cash as you can for correctly answered questions
- Classic Game Mode
- every one competes individually
- Team Mode
- students work together in groups
Synchronous learning with Gimkit
Gimkit is quite easy to use synchronously. The questions show up on the student’s device, so there’s no need to have two screens or two windows open at the same time.
Game Set Up Options
The options for setting up a game seem endless! Your best bet is to play around and try out the different features to see what works best for you and your students. Changing it up every time adds an element of surprise that will certainly keep them on their toes.
Quizlet is a great flashcard quizzing tool. This game app is particularly great in face-to-face classes. It gets students to collaborate with one another, and to actually learn each other’s names, while demonstrating learning of important terms in your course.
In Quizlet Live, students enter the game through a link, no accounts needed (points for student privacy!). They enter a nickname, and they are then assigned to a group (2-4 per group) for the game. The questions and possible answers are displayed on all of their devices, with each device having a different set of answers. The catch? The correct answer is only present on one of their devices. They must work together to select the right answer and race to beat the other teams to victory!
Due to the pandemic, they have also now created an individual mode for students so that this tool can still be used. Flashcards are great, so don’t be too quick to cross this tool off of your list of game apps to use during remote learning.
Our favourite feature is definitely the collaborative effort that we can use during face to face instruction, but students still really love to be able to use flashcards as a study tool.
Quizizz is another game app or tool that can be used to check for learning in your class. It is a tool that can be used in the traditional classroom, as well as during remote learning.
There are a variety of question types that you can use when creating your quiz. They are:
- multiple choice
- fill in the blank
When creating a quiz, you can actually search other quizizz games with the same topic and select questions from those to include in your game. They refer to this as “teleporting.” It helps to free up a lot of time, which seems to be hard to find these days!
A great feature of this game app is that you can play live, assign as homework, or also practice it.
Live mode works as many other game apps do. You can set it up as a team, individually (aka classic), or as a test (requires login).
In the settings, you can choose to show answers in-game or post-game, or not show them at all! You can also choose to show a countdown timer for each question, and to shuffle the questions and/or answer options.
Assign as homework
One of the great features of Quizizz is that you can actually assign a Quizizz as a homework assignment.
First, you set the due date and time, choose the game settings (same as in live mode), with a few additional options to choose from. Next, you simply share the link, and students can complete it at their own pace before the deadline.
Much like the other game apps we have discussed, you can import questions from a spreadsheet! This makes it easy for students to collaborate as a group to create a quiz. There is a template that you can download to ensure that you have the correct formatting.
To access the template, click on “Import from spreadsheet.” Then, the following window will appear – click on “(download template)”
Access to already created Quizizz
In addition to the ability to collaborate or “teleport” questions from other games, you can search Quizizz for games that have been created by others. You can then copy and add or change as you’d like, or use it as-is with your own class.
There are so many quiz games already made – so do some searching, make sure they are a good fit, and try it out!
A neat feature in Quizizz is that you can set it up to have memes pop up after every question. You can pick from memes already created, or you can create your own memes! These memes provide instant feedback after questions, and are a neat and fun feature for this gaming app.
One handy feature for math and science teachers – you can do math equations in Quizizz! A definite pro for a game app!
Overall, these four game apps are really great ways to engage students and to check on their learning. In a time of remote teaching/learning, formative assessment has become even more important, so finding tools that students will enjoy is a definite must!
If you know of other game apps or tools that you think are great options for educators and students, feel free to let us know! We are always up for some new learning and for trying new tools.
Leave us a comment below, or check out our FLIPGRID!
Game App Resources
- Quizlet/Quizlet Live
Summer Reading Recommendations:
- “Powerful Teaching: Unleash the Science of Learning” by Pooja Agarwal and Patrice Bain
- “101 Strategies to Make Academic Vocabulary Stick” by Marilee Sprenger
- “Teaching Science to English Learners” by Stephen Fleenor
- “Teaching Social Studies to ELLs” by Tina Beene
- “Pathways to Greatness for ELL Newcomer” by Michelle Yzquierdo
- “Talk, Read, Talk, Write” by Nancy Motley
News and Updates
Using tabs in Chrome!
This update should be available in the next version of Chrome, which should be available any time, so stay tuned!
How to use tabs: you can right click on the tabs bar, create a label, colour code and add to your label!
You can label according to courses, organization, etc. It’s a great way to group together websites that you use for a common purpose.
Here is the link to The Keyword Blog from Google where they’ve announced this update!