Kahoot is a fun student response site that can be used with any device. I don’t employ it very often because the nature of my gifted classes doesn’t really allow for many multiple choice questions. Yesterday, though, I decided to see how my first graders would respond to a Kahoot geography quiz. They have been doing research on different countries, and have participated in all kinds of activities to help them learn the locations of their countries and the seven continents. Sure enough, there were already several public Kahoots made that were perfectly tailored for my group.
It took a lot more guidance to get them started than it takes with my older students, but they were finally all ready to start. The first question took them by surprise. They had never used a student response system in their lives, and couldn’t figure out why the screen in front of the room looked different than the one on their iPad – but was still connected. Once they realized what was happening, though, they got completely fired up. They were leaping out of their chairs and cheering when they got answers correct. After we finished the first quiz, they begged for more.
The level of engagement was undoubtedly there. I was a bit uncomfortable, though, with whether or not the competition was a good thing or not. Even when the students used “aliases”, it was immediately apparent by their reactions who was doing well and who wasn’t.
Every student, whether they did well or not, wholeheartedly agreed that they love “Kahooting.” And I realize that competition can be motivating. However, I have mixed feelings about the students comparing themselves to others. Am I helping them to learn more by offering this exciting and engaging activity? Or, am I discouraging those who find themselves unable to answer correctly or fast enough?
What do you think? Comments welcome!