Throughout my short seven-year career in education, admittedly, I have not used many different assessment technologies. The one that I was introduced to a couple years ago was Kahoot. I had the opportunity to use my smartphone in a staff meeting and participate in a quiz. At this point, I was kind of hesitant, I found the website, and a screen popped up where I had to punch in my game code. After entering the game code and coming up with a name I was in!
This experience for me was eyeopening in two different ways initially. The first thing I really felt was a need to get the question that was presented right. I looked over the answers and chose the correct one… but not as fast as a couple of other teachers that were actively partaking in the activity as well. I kept answering the questions correctly but someone would always remain ahead of me in the accumulation of the total points, this is where my competitive side really started kicking in. I really wanted to get the next question right, but fast, so I could stack up the points a bit faster than the others because I was slowly falling behind. The question came and I had my fingers ready to move the cursor and click. the four possible answers were up and I quickly misread them all and picked the wrong one. This happened a couple more times throughout the game and my frustration grew. The assessment failed me and I failed the assessment…all because I wanted to win so I shortchanged my intelligence for the need for speed.
I think this is the detriment that comes with the Kahoot as an assessment tool. I do see value in it, which I will get to, but if it had a negative effect on my ability to think and process efficiently it was not effective in reaching the outcome I think that our assessor wanted. It left me feeling defeated in an area in which I should only be competing with myself.
As an assessment tool, I thought that this might not be the greatest one to use when it impacts a students mark. As a formative assessment, I think it works better and agree with Scott when he states, “So, why do a Kahoot? Well, it’s an easy way to check for understanding (hello, formative assessment!). ” Sonja echo’s this sentiment about Flipgrid as a formative assessment and I think it’s important that educators do not put much stock in these as major summative assessment tools.
There are many ways in which Kahoot can have a great impact on students and learning, however. Having students create their own Kahoot to reflect their comprehension in a subject area is a great use, and it gives them ownership over something they have created that they are able to test out in small groups. Another way I have witnessed Kahoot used effectively was last year. Our school along with four others had a couple of math Kahoot games with just over 200 students in grades 7 and 8. It was just for fun and it was exactly that! The students started to bond within the classrooms they were playing in, cheering for anyone from our school that was in the top five. It was an experience that I think had a profound impact on all of the students that played as well as all of the educators that were collaborating to make it possible.
As educators we need to make sure we are using these assessment tools correctly and that they are benefitting the students within our classrooms. In Section 4: Measuring for Learning it states, “Continued advances in technology will expand the use of ongoing, formative, and embedded assessments that are less disruptive and more useful for improving learning.” This is an important point and the tools that keep surfacing on the Web continually have been improving. In an article by Audrey Watters she makes the point, “We also have, thanks to new technologies, a renewed faith in “data” as holding all the answers: the answers to how people learn, the answers to how students succeed, the answers to why students fail, the answers to which teachers improve test scores…” We need to keep this data in mind because we have such a vast array of learners that walk through our doors each day, we ultimately need to do what is best for all of them and utilizing different assessment tools is important, both summative and formative.