Do you Kahoot?

Maybe you’ve heard about Kahoot? Engaged in a game but always wondered about how to go about creating your own? Never heard of it but are curious? If you answered yes to any of these questions, stay tuned, as we dive into the fun world of Kahooting!

What is Kahoot? Kahoot is a “game-based learning platform.” meaning, that it facilitates teaching and learning through the use of an online, quick-paced game. Players log in to a game on their phone or computer, input a code to access the game assigned by their instructor, are shown questions and enter or choose a response. Speed adds points, which creates a competitive edge. The game can occur in real time during a class or presentation or can be accessed outside of class time for prep or review.

Why Kahoot? Kahoot is a very easy way to begin or break up a lecture or presentation, and get everyone involved with minimal risk of embarrassment. It also is a good gauge of what students know or believe, and can provide a way for me to correct misperceptions or clear up confusion.

What do I Kahoot? As an instructor, I create questions based on what my desired outcome is.

Is my goal simple engagement? Then I might ask some fun questions related to the topic or something relevant to what’s happening in our community, or a season, such as this question on Halloween (which also features a picture reveal):

If I want to see comprehension or content knowledge, my questions will reflect that:

As you can see, the “item stems” are not very long or complicated, which allows for quick play. Once the question is presented, students have 20 seconds (that can be adjusted) to choose their answer.

How do I create a Kahoot? It’s very easy to create a Kahoot game. Go to the site; https://create.kahoot.it and create an account. After that, you can start by clicking on the discover button and see popular games, but also search to see if there’s content already created for your topic that you can use. If you decide you want to create your own, click on the create button, and you’ll get this screen:

You can choose different options from all the drop down menus, and add as many questions as you like. Once you’re done, you’ll save it, and then it will be ready to play or invite others to play!

How long should my game be? It depends on the purpose. If it’s a stand-alone game, with the purpose of reviewing concepts, you can have more questions. I’ve found that the absolute max # of questions is 10. That gives newcomers time to learn how to play, and also allows for trends to develop and change-ups in the scoreboard to occur. Beyond that, and it loses its impact.

How do I invite users to my game? When you’re ready to play, you’ll click on “play,” and get the options on how you want the Kahoot to be played. In this case, I chose teach, which then opened another window with all sort of options. Once I’ve selected my options, I click on “play this Kahoot,” and the screen with the pin # emerges. You can either have students/participants open the game as an app, or go to the website (https://kahoot.it) and enter the pin #.

Any other tips?

Tip 1: I tend to use as many pictures as I can with my Kahoots, as can be seen with my group counseling theory Kahoot:

I find that it encourages more application/critical thinking that just plain regurgitation of content.

Tip 2: Also, I typically pause between questions to address the topic, learn what led to the different responses – even if there is just one wrong answer (a bar graph shows the distribution of answers).

Tip 3: Also, make sure they are prompted to only use “g-rated” nicknames.

Tip 4: Keep the sound on (it adds to the game-like feel) and don’t forget to stay for the end of the show so they can see who makes the podium – students get really frustrated when you exit out before that point!

Want to learn more? You can check it out at https://create.kahoot.it. And, here’s a quick overview:

Are You Engaging and Inspiring Your Online Learners?

We were thrilled to present at the National Career Development Association conference this year! Our session? “Engage and Inspire! Tips and Tricks That Take Your Online Classes to the Next Level.”

#NCDA2021 was virtual again but did not disappoint. The program included a number of technology-related topics, as well as thought-provoking keynote sessions.

Feel free to browse our slides (below) and visit the companion Resource Guide for more information.

If you attended our session – Thank You for being there and for your participation in the conversation. 🙂

Tech Twins Talk Tech With Peak Careers

The Tech Twins were honored to have a discussion with Jim Peacock of Peak Careers. We talked about “Must Have Technology tools,” as well as go-to resources we use, and even highlight some tips for preventing, minimizing, and combatting tech stress. Watch the Video:

For more info on the tools we mention, links are here. Loved talking with each other and with Jim, and it gives a sneak preview of some of what we’ll be sharing at NCDA.

Orienting Your Audience to Zoom Features

So many of us have been teaching via Zoom for so long that we may assume that everyone is familiar with Zoom and all of its features. Whether providing a workshop or teaching a class, it’s definitely a good idea to have familiarize participants with the tools that will be needed prior to launching into the presentation.

Here’s an example of a slide after my title and agenda slides:

So worth it to have everyone feel competent (and hopefully excited going into the presentation). I may not use all of these in a workshop, so would edit the slide as need be. Part of my rationale for using these different tools is definitely audience engagement, but I also want participants to leave their time with me having an extra bonus they didn’t realize they were getting, i.e., some cool new tech tools that they can use to improve their own presentations! Plus, if you have them in breakout rooms for even a couple of minutes, they’ll leave the presentation with an increased network.

If you think of it as a warmup activity, you’ll start your presentation with an engaged audience. So you could have a practice slide that has the agenda on it and ask them to mark on the agenda which of the items they are most excited about. They can use the stamp button or a text or make their mark. On that same slide, you might have a poll pre-prepared with the agenda items on them so they can practice voting. You could then have them move to breakout rooms for a 2 minute meet&greet and to come up with one more item they are interested in talking about, and when they come back, have them write their ideas in the chat.

If you want to entertain questions throughout the presentation, you’ll want to set up the rules for that, especially with a larger group. If I have a large group, I’ll typically ask someone to monitor the chat for me and let me know if a question comes in that way. I’ll also make sure to make a note in my notes at the end of every couple of slides to pause for and ask for questions.

Teaching about technology isn’t usually the focus of any of my presentations, so I wouldn’t ever do all of the activities on the slide above. However, I deeply desire for my participants to feel like the material I’m sharing is of value to them, and believe that if they can take the content I’m sharing and integrate it with their own experiences, they’ll learn something of value, and when they share that knowledge with the group, in turn, we all will.

What’s up with QR codes?

What are QR codes? According to that all knowing source, Wikipedia, QR codes are defined as “a type of matrix barcode first designed in 1994 for the automotive industry in Japan. A barcode is a machine-readable optical label that contains information about the item to which it is attached.” Usually, it looks like a box (although it could be a different shape) with black/white dots, lines and squares in it.

Aren’t they old school? Just a fad? Several years ago, I (Deb) was teaching a technology and counseling course, and showed my students how to create a QR code as the new, cool thing. I was seeing them around town as a fast way to get to information instead of typing in a long url – but you had to download a QR scanner app to your phone, and there were very few tools out there to create them. And then, they started to disappear.

Enter the pandemic-and the re-emergence. As everything went virtual, I started noticing those funky little QR codes popping up everywhere – advertisements, in church (“scan to find out more”), and eventually, in my students’ class presentations. When they wanted the class to play a game, use a collaborative tool such as slido or drive, or look at an article or website, they included a QR Code. They didn’t even bother with tiny url. Realizing that this was a way they preferred to get their information, at least in presentations, I started incorporating them as well.

How to create and access QR codes. Creating a QR code has become much more simple. There are many different tools available, but I use QR code Generator. You can make anything a QR code, such as text, a website, a picture, a link to a video, music. For this software, you put the website url, or whatever it is you want to create a QR code for into the box on the left, and before you know it, the program will generate a QR code on the right. At that point, I typically screenshot the box/code and then put it into my slide.

Accessing the QR code. Students with a smartphone can use the camera function and hold it up to the QR code, and the url will be suggested for them to click on and follow. Because not everyone has a smartphone, I also always include a tiny url, especially for a long website address. In the case below, I include the QR code, the original website (mostly to show it is a reputable source), and the tiny.url code.

Only time will tell if QR codes are here to stay, or just a passing fad. With creating and accessing them becoming such a hassle-free process, my bet is that they will be here for the long haul. Now, if we could just get some artists involved to make them prettier to look at, that would be awesome!