Today used Kahoot as a quiz to wrap up a First Aid unit I was running with Year 9 PASS (Physical Activity and Sport Studies). I’ve used Kahoot before with classes, but purely as a summative exercise at the end of something to test what they’ve learned, in a fun, gamey and engaging way. And it works well, so I didn’t expect any issues.
As I suspected, the kids had a ball, working in pairs on some re-purposed ex DER laptops as their answering devices. We got to the end of the quiz, and I expected to move on to the next thing I’d planned (some first aid scenarios that needed practical interventions) when the kids as a whole group yelled (REALLY YELLED) out “Can we do that again?”. When I asked why, they all remarked to the effect that they wanted to see if they could get better.
There are moments in life when (internally) you see a flash of light and hear the boom of a thunderous revelation. Today, in my Year 9 PASS class, I saw the light and heard the boom. These students weren’t looking at this like a quiz; they were caught in a gaming flow and feedback loop that was real. The desire to improve at the quiz game was just like a gamer not satisfied with a score in a mission or level – they wanted another go to better themselves. And in the process were absorbing information and connecting neurons related to their work. We played the same quiz, with questions and answers randomly jumbled (as Kahoot allows you do to) for the rest of the lesson with no complaint – just plenty of cheering, collaborating, engagement and hopefully learning.
This has been a revelation to me. It’s going to change the way I think and do things, for sure.