Monday, February 15, 2016

My Tech Tools [Kahoot!]

Here is a tool that does not meet my criteria:
• Capture
Anyone can log in. There's no Google login like Pear Deck, Desmos, or Google Forms. The teacher must rely on students honorably entering their name. There are four design features that could possibly hinder the accuracy at which a teacher is able to capture student thinking:
  • multiple choice
  • timed questions
  • points driven
  • selecting answers in the form of different colored shapes
Multiple choice
Multiple choice will never 100% accurately capture what a student is thinking because the student could get it correct by guessing or for the wrong reason. This can be referred to as false-positives.
Timed questions
By default, questions are timed in order to fall in line with the gaming feel of Kahoot! Therefore, students with the best recall will typically score higher. This option can be turned off. You have 15 seconds. HURRY!!!!!!
Points driven
Kahoot! could be considered a gamified tool that checks for understanding. One component of games could be points. Kahoot! rewards students who answer accurately and more quickly than their peers with more points. There's a leaderboard.
• Different colored backgrounds and shapes as answers
This feature requires additional decoding by a student who might also struggle with the math being questioned. Not being a quick processor, I have struggled with this feature a handful of times. I think the use of different colors is a great design feature. I would suggest Kahoot! ditch the white polygons or give the teacher the option to turn them off.

• Sort
There is no real-time sorting of student thinking. If a teacher would like to see how specific students answered questions, they have to wait until the session is finished and look at the data on a spreadsheet. Granted, this data is better than nothing. After having teacher dashboards available in other tech tools like Pear Deck and Desmos, I need the data NOW! Again, after the students go home is better than nothing. Because answers are multiple choice, the results from a question are displayed as bar graphs. Unfortunately, the teacher cannot click on a bar graph to see which students picked that answer.

• Assess
Multiple choice questions can always present a teacher with false positives as I mentioned above. The bar graph could be generally informative to me as a teacher. I do appreciate the option that a teacher could export the results of the game after the session has ended. This could help inform their instruction for the next day if they decide to use Kahoot! as an exit slip.

• Discuss
After students have answered a question and the bar graphs are displayed, the teacher does have the option to click on the image and discuss the mathematics. However, I wouldn't feel that well informed as to what students were thinking or the reasoning behind their choices, especially if they were being timed and the timer caused them to quickly guess.

Kahoot! conclusion:
I can't help but feel like a game-show host when I've run Kahoot sessions. No thanks. I'm a teacher, not a game-show host. You might be wondering why I don't have a wish list for Kahoot! I have found other tools that can do the same exact thing without students being timed, earning points, or having to additionally process colors and shapes when answering. If you're a fan of Kahoot!, then I welcome arguments that might convince me to reconsider the tool. However, if you'd like to present arguments, I request you consider the tech tool Quizalize. It has a gaming feel to it, but just might be more informative to you, the teacher.
Learn more about Kahoot! here.
Learn more about Quizalize here.

More from the My Tech Tools Series:


  1. Great feedback my friend. I appreciate you sharing your critical eye.

    1. Any time!
      The biggest challenge is having a conversation with someone who says something along the lines of, "The kids love it."

      And I want to know do ALL kids love it it. If not, which kids love it?
      AND how do you use the tool to inform your instruction.

      Not an easy conversation to have.

    2. Andrew,

      This has been my biggest response. I fear that the kids who "love it" are the kids who are in the top 1/3, or even 2/3, of the class. Sure, not every kid is going to like every tool, but putting something time-based into the hands of a struggling student does very little -- if anything -- for their growth.

      Also, your point about the feedback is spot on. At the end of the Kahoot, the kids go on to their next class and the teacher does... nothing with the data? I like Socrative, GoFormative, and other tools which are designed for the feedback component and not focused so heavily on the game-show feel.

      All to say, great post.

  2. Out new Dean had a PD to show us Kahoot. My first reaction was I didn't like the speed feature. I'm glad to see that you don't like this aspect either-it seemed like I was the only one at our PD that wasn't enthralled! Keep up the great posts!!

    1. So what's the latest. Are you trying any other tools?

  3. the polygons are for colorblind people you ignorant bitch