Teaching with Kahoot

Many will know the online quiz making app called Kahoot. Up to now I have thought it mainly useful to quickly check the knowledge of students in a really fun interactive way. However recently I tried a different use.

I was teaching Grade 8 History students at the beginning of the and I wanted to get a sense of what understanding of Historical key concepts, including what History is and is not.

I designed with the help of a colleague a  Kahoot consisting of 15 questions. Many of them were aimed at what I have found to be misconceptions relating to History – such as thinking History in school is mainly about fact and date memorisation, instead of what it should be – about skills development.

After each question – Kahoot gives a set of results showing how many students got the question right and how many chose each of the wrong answers. At this point I took a few minutes to discuss and explain why a particular answer was wrong. This worked really well I was able to begin to deal with misconceptions immediately and directly and also see where further attention is for later lessons.

This was far better and more engaging that simply telling kids a bunch of definitions, having them write it down and then looking at examples.

I will certainly be using this method again and it stands to reason that this method is applicable to pretty much any subject.

I have also successfully got students to create their own Kahoot questions and send them to me. Composing questions gives students a very useful new perspective.

The Kahoot I made is here

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How to get kids to read

jovem-leitor

 

To many of us who love reading trying to get the younger generation addicted is a tough ask. We live in an age of instant gratification. The visuals provided by screens of various sizes provide this without having to involve thinking or imagination. I have watched teenagers scrolling through Instagram, Pinterest or Snapchat. Each visual is looked at for two seconds at most then either liked or skipped. Anything requiring reading a few words or more, let alone a sentence is far too laborious. Yes I am generalising but it is the rule not the exception. It makes my heart warm to see a young one sitting engrossed in a book simply because it is sadly rare. Read More

Advantages of Using Google Forms for Long Marking

Redhill Teachers' Idea Board

5 Advantages of Marking Longer Answers Using Google Forms and Sheets (By Michael Caplan, History & English)

screenshot 2016 05 27 13 00 56 Marking longer answers in History

Many tech-savvy teachers may be aware of the super cool self-marking that Google Forms in combination with Flubaroo brings. However this works mainly with short answers, multiple choice matching columns, true and false etc. Nevertheless, Forms (in combination with Sheets) can also be used for longer answers. I had a go at this and after several uses have found some distinct advantages, some of which were quite surprising:

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Another Brick in the Wall

“We don’t need no education
We don’t need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teachers leave them kids alone
Hey! Teachers! Leave them kids alone!
All in all it’s just another brick in the wall.
All in all you’re just another brick in the wall.”

Pink Floyd – Another Brick in the Wall Part 2 (1979)

This song was banned in South Africa when it first came out. It was extremely dangerous as it made people think. It did not understand it then but it has come to represent the very worst form of education. A factory like system that seeks to mass-produce identical unthinking products.

see: Another Brick in the Wall

This blog is an attempt to explore ways of making education innovative so as to produce independent thinking individuals equipped for the challenges of the 21st century.

Too many educators are paralyzed with fear of change. These professionals are worried about the insecurity of leaving their comfort zones and questioning long held assumptions. It’s what William Blake called “mind-forg’d manacles” (Poem: London).Here I will try to put together ways of breaking this trend.