Learn with Kahoot

Kahoot! is a popular learning tool for using technology to administer quizzes, discussions or surveys. It is a game based classroom response system played by the whole class in real time. Multiple-choice questions are projected on the screen. Students answer the questions with their smartphone, tablet or computer.

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How do I get it?

To be able to use this tool and create your own quiz, you need to create an account. Go to: getkahoot.com. Press on the large purple “GET MY FREE ACCOUNT” button. Fill in your role (teacher), your school or university, create a username, supply your email and select a password.

 

How to use Kahoot!

You create the quiz, survey or discussion item. After you have created an account, you will see a screen with three icons for a quiz, discussion item or survey. Make your selection and build your game. Questions have a 95-character limit and have up to four answer options. Select the correct answer by pressing the red “Incorrect” button. It will turn green and say “Correct”. Choose a time limit between 5 and 120 seconds. You may embed an image or a YouTube video. Continue to add and edit questions using the toolbar on the bottom of the screen. To complete the quiz, select “Next” and follow the instructions. You may add a cover image and you select whether you want to make your game public or private. You are now ready to launch your game.

Your Kahoot games are saved in My Kahoots. You then select the game you want to launch and press the Play button. Students login to the game using their smart phone or computer. Kahoot! displays a game pin to join the quiz (see example below). Students enter the game pin on their device and create a username that will display as the game progresses. Students get points for correctness and speed. The correct question and a scoreboard display after each question. You can see the results of your quizzes in the My Kahoot section. Click on the purple cloud next to the game plays. If you allowed students to select a user name, you will want them to share that name with you so you can track the results.

 

When should I use Kahoot?

1. Create a quiz to reinforce learning outcomes.

2. You can create a game to introduce a topic. It can help you discover what the students already know and where you should focus your instruction.

3. It works best with short, quick response questions. It is a great tool for learning terminology.

4. The frequently asked questions section does address using the game in online instruction. Online students would need to load Kahoot on their machines and use a different device to play the game.

5. Survey the students about something you are discussing in your unit of study. For example, I could display choices a controller is facing that may or may not be ethical. The students would select whether or not they believe the controller made an ethical business decision. We would then discuss the results.

6. Create a quiz to use as a study session for an upcoming exam.

7. You can play the game a second time using a “ghost”. The game plays the same as previously but now the students are playing against their first responses and hoping to improve their score.

 

Conclusion

The games bring a lot of interaction to the classroom. You are in control of advancing the questions allowing you the opportunity to build discussion time between questions. The majority of students enjoy the competitive nature of the game and comment that it helps them retain concepts. You may click on the link to find additional information in the Kahoot User Guide.

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7 Pillars Of Digital Leadership In Education

Pillars Of Digital Leadership In Education

by Eric Sheninger, Principal at New Milford High School in New Jersey

As schools change leadership must as well.

With society becoming more and more reliant on technology it is incumbent upon leaders to harness the power of digital technologies in order to create school cultures that are transparent, relevant, meaningful, engaging, and inspiring. In order to set the stage for increasing achievement and to establish a greater sense of community pride for the work being done in our schools, we must begin to change the way we lead. To do this, leaders must understand the origins of fear and misconceptions that often surround the use of technology such as social media and mobile devices.

Once the fears and misconceptions are placed on the table, leaders can begin to establish a vision for the effective use of technology to improve numerous facets of leadership. The challenge for school leaders is why, how, and where to begin. Digital leadership is not about flashy tools, but a strategic mindset that leverages available resources to improve what we do while anticipating the changes needed to cultivate a school culture focused on engagement and achievement. It is a new construct of leadership that grows out of the leader’s symbiotic relationship with technology.

The end result will be sustainable change in programs, instruction, behaviors, and leadership practices with technology as a pivotal element. Digital leadership requires a shift in leadership style from one of mandates, directives, and buy-in to one grounded in empowerment, support, and embracement as keys to sustainable change.

From my work I have identified what I call the Pillars of Digital Leadership. These are the specific areas embedded in the culture of all schools that can be improved or enhanced though the use of available technology, especially social media. They present a framework from which any educator or leader can begin to harness the power of technology to change professional practice and initiate sustainable change.

1. Communication

Leaders can now provide stakeholders with relevant information in real time through a variety of devices. No longer do static, one-way methods such as newsletters and websites suffice. Important information can be communicated through various free social media tools and simple implementation strategies in order to meet stakeholders where they are in the digital age.

2. Public Relations

If we don’t tell our story, someone else will, and more often than not, another’s version will not be the one we want told. Leaders need to become storytellers-in-chief. We can now form the foundation of a positive public relations platform using free social media tools where we control the content.  By doing so, we create the means by which we share all of the positives associated with our schools and create a much needed level of transparency in an age of negative rhetoric toward education.

3. Branding

Businesses have long understood the value of brand and its impact on current and potential consumers. Leaders can leverage social media tools to create a positive brand presence that emphasizes the positive aspects of school culture, increases community pride, and helps to attract/retain families when looking for a place to send their children to school.

4. Student engagement/learning

We cannot expect to see increases in achievement if students are not learning. Students that are not engaged are not likely to be learning. Leaders need to understand that schools should reflect real life and allow students to apply what they have learned through the use of the tools they are using outside of school.

Digital leaders understand that we must put real-world tools in the hands of students and allow them to create artifacts of learning that demonstrate conceptual mastery. This is an important pedagogical shift as it focuses on enhancing essential skill sets—communication, collaboration, creativity, media literacy, global connectedness, critical thinking, and problem solving – that society demands.

5. Professional growth/development

With the rise of social media, schools no longer have to be silos of information and leaders do not have to feel like they are on isolated islands that lack support and feedback. Leaders can form their own Personal Learning Network (PLN) to meet our diverse learning needs, acquire resources, access knowledge, receive feedback, connect with both experts in the field of education as well as practitioners, and discuss proven strategies to improve teaching, learning, and leadership.

6. Re-envisioning earning spaces and environments

Once leaders understand the pillars and how to use them to initiate sustainable change, the next step is to begin to transform learning spaces and environments that support essential skill sets and are aligned with the real world. Leaders must begin to establish a vision and strategic plan to create an entire school building dedicated to learning in an ever so more digital world. In order to do so, leaders must be knowledgeable of the characteristics and dynamics that embody innovative learning spaces and environments.

7. Opportunity

It is important for leaders to consistently seek out ways to improve existing programs, resources, and professional development. Digital leaders leverage connections made through technology and increase opportunities to make improvements across multiple areas of school culture.

Conclusion

Leaders need to be the catalysts for change and the pillars identified above provide a framework.

Each is critical in its own right to transforming and sustaining a positive school culture. By addressing each of these pillars, leaders can begin changing and transforming their respective schools into ones that prepare learners with essential digital age skills while engaging a variety of stakeholders.  Digital leadership begins with identifying obstacles to change and specific solutions to overcome them in order to transform schools in the digital age.

Source: http://www.teachthought.com/the-future-of-learning/digital-citizenship-the-future-of-learning/7-pillars-digital-leadership-education/

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PLANNED AND PURPOSEFUL USE OF LAPTOPS IN CLASSROOM

The use of laptops in classroom has many advantages. It allow students to do note taking easily and increase engagement with online and electronic sources related to the course material. Laptops can also be used to facilitate faculty-student interaction and student to student collaboration inside and outside the classroom. Laptops also increase rates of in-class participation and student motivation.

However, we as educators, need to acknowledge that the use of laptops into our classrooms will mean a change in the way we teach and students learn. Some studies (Hembrooke & Gay 2003) suggest that students who have open laptops during the explicit teaching of content remembered less than those with closed laptops. Another study by (Fried 2008), supported these findings. Furthermore, it is also suggested that students actively seeking course-related material show a decreased ability to balance their attention between the lecture content and their focused searching.

These studies and their findings should not deter us from using laptops in the classroom. There is little doubt that laptops are a learning tool which can be used to enhance learning. Like other tools, we must use them to their best possible effect. We should not use them all the time because they are. We should only use them when they can be used to help our students learn more effectively.

We should not take laptops for granted. Lesson should be planned, taking into consideration how students can use their laptops effectively to achieve learning goals. There are many programs, applications or sites, too many to mention here, we can use to help encourage independent and collaborative learning.

We need to review our traditional practises in the classroom when using laptops. We need to consider how every student accesses their textbook on the screen. Does having them on a device mean they have to be accessed individually? Is there the potential to share the resource as a class, just as we did with traditional textbooks?

In short, the laptop cannot be seen as the solution to all educational issues. But a planned and purposeful use of laptop can enhance learning.

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Ideas to Maximise the Use of Laptops

The challenge to make use of student laptops in classroom can be tricky. We should not limit the use of their electronic devices to note taking or communication only.

As with all instructional technologies, laptops can enhance learning by helping achieve specific learning outcomes within your course. The following is a list of ideas to provide instructional activities appropriate for use with laptops in the classroom:

  1. Collaboration:

Various teaching and learning strategies can be used promote critical thinking and collaboration among students. Problem-based learning and team-based learning can be given and students use their devices for research, communication, and development. Working together using computer-based resources, discussion boards, email, and synchronous chat rooms, students can identify issues, share ideas and propose solutions to authentic problems.

Collaboration tools such as Dropbox is probably one tool that we should use more often. It allows you to create so-called “shared folders“, which will appear in every team member’s computer. Any file, which has been uploaded to those folders, can be accessed by every person with access to it. Other tool with a similar application is Google Docs.

  1. Assessments:

Use laptops after lessons and discussions to assess students’ comprehension of materials. Create low-stakes quizzes and anonymous surveys through Blackboard’s assessment tools. Quizzes are automatically graded and results posted in the course gradebook. Keep students on track by providing instant feedback and guidance, even in large classes. Mind-mapping activities using PowerPoint or Prezi are also good for this.

Survey Monkey or Quizlet can be used as a quick assessment tool.

  1. Brainstorming and debate:

Divide students into teams. Introduce controversial course topics that can be debated using the discussion board. Various groups can be established and assigned specific tasks, such as researching ideas, organising information, writing opening arguments, and providing summaries.

Padlet and other online forums or discussion boards can be used for this kind of activity.

  1. Peer reviews and editing:

Students share files and give each other the ability to comment or edit their files. This access allows them to evaluate and give feedback to their classmates’ work. Using track changes, students have the opportunity to provide detailed feedback to peers.

Google Docs and Dropbox can be used for this type of activity.

  1. Online Research:

Online research can be done using any search engines, wikis or online libraries. This can be done in groups or individually. Students must be equipped with the ability to assess a source’s validity and reliability or, at least, encourage them to look at different sources and compare their findings.

  1. Virtual field trips and web quests:

The Internet is full of comprehensive and well-designed web sites from a variety of non-profit, commercial and government organisations. These sites offer students to access rich and varied resources that may otherwise be inaccessible due to location. Enhance learner’s experiences with virtual field trips to sites that present course topics and ideas in a variety of contexts. A web quest is a popular online group activity in which students examine and evaluate a set of instructor-recommended resources and items. Group members take on specific roles and are challenged to work together to locate information, answer questions, and develop an understanding of a specific topic or idea.

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Student’s Reflection on the Use of Online Tools in Humanities

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In this Civics Issues project we were given a chance to have an in-depth look at current issues in Australia and around the world such as same-sex marriage, suicide, animal cruelty, refugees, racism, abortion rights, etc. The issue had to be thoroughly researched and presented to the class.

This assignment involved conducting a survey of the class to gather responses, then devising an appropriate solution to the issue and collecting signatures in favour of the proposed solutions in the form of a petition. We had the opportunity to use different online resources such as surveymonkey, Google forms, ipetitions, etc. for this task.

For example, surveymonkey allowed us to create online surveys and analyse the responses. We were able to easily spot data trends, see question summaries or look at individual responses. Google forms was largely similar in that it allowed us to easily create a survey and collect and analyse responses.logo_stacked

Part of the assignment was to collect information from different perspectives of the issue and present both sides of the argument. We were given a chance to offer solutions to the issue at hand and experience the process of changing a law or policy. ipetitions is an online site that provides free petition creation. We used this tool to create petitions for our issue and collect signatures and responses from people in all parts of the world.

These invaluable tools were crucial to the final result of our assignments and proved to be useful and easy to work with.

I think this was a very rewarding assignment as we were given a chance to learn about and investigate different topics. I found researching and compiling my information extremely interesting. I learnt lots not just about my chosen issue but from other people’s presentations as well. I very much enjoyed completing this project and would really like to do something like this again.

By Tuyen Pham (7B)

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4 Online Research Skills and How to Teach Them

Online research skills are required in all subject areas. It is well recorded that most of our students are not well equipped with these skills when they come to the secondary school setting. They have been taught the skills in ICT class but this needs to be reinforced in other learning area.

Here is some areas we need to continuesly emphasize in our class and the challenges that come with them.

1. Checking Your Source Validity

Checking the website and assessing its content are very crucial. We need to teach them the habit of checking the validity of information they found online. Most kids approach their online research with the belief that everything they find online is true.

To check the credibility of a website and the validity of its information, we can start by giving students a list of questions like this:

  • Is the website commercial, educational or a blog journal?
  • Is the information up to date?
  • Does the site ask for too much personal information or prompt virus warnings?
  • Is the information in-depth?
  • Does the information come from a trusted expert?

The answers to these questions will lead to a discussion and help them to assess the credibility of a website and its content.

2. Choosing key words and making research questions

Identifying key words and refining search queries is very crucial to help students get better research results.

Students will enter a search term, say, “Abraham Lincoln,” and comb through pages of results that aren’t related to their research (think Lincoln beards, Lincoln Logs), rather than narrowing their original query (“Lincoln assassination”).

Students can work in small groups and are given three search terms each, ranging from the general to the specific (e.g., “national parks,” “Yellowstone,” and “Yellowstone founding date”).

  • Ask the groups to record how many results are returned for each term.
  • Discuss how specificity can narrow their search to the results they need.
  • Challenge groups to come up with three alternate search terms for the most specific item on their lists. (For the Yellowstone example, alternate terms might include “When was Yellowstone founded?” “history of Yellowstone” and “Who founded Yellowstone?”)
  • Compare the results and discuss how changing a few words can generate different information.

3. Go Beyond the Surface

Studies have shown that when using a search engine, kids often stop at the first search result, which they deem the most trustworthy. We need to encourage them to check other sources and compare the information given by those sources.

Creating a fact tree is an effective way to broaden student’s perspective about whatever topic they are researching:

  • The starting question is the root of the tree — for example, “How many planets are in the Milky Way?”
  • Then, on branches coming out from the tree, students write facts or pieces of information that answer the question (“Scientists don’t know the exact number,” “There could be billions”).
  • The catch is that each fact must come from a separate, documented source. Encourage students to find at least 10 sources of information to complete their fact trees.

4. Respect Ownership

Increasingly, young people don’t see piracy as stealing. Surveys found that overwhelmingly majority of teens felt music or movie piracy was “morally acceptable.” This is also the case for other intellectual properties such as essays,  journals and articles.

We may be able to raise awareness about the importance of respecting intellectual properties by doing a discussion like this:

  • Ask students to imagine what it would feel like if they invent a cure for a disease, compose a song, or have a book published.
  • Then ask, “How would you feel if someone used you invention to produce a medicine and make a lot of money from it?”
  • “How would you feel if someone downloaded your music or movie without paying for it? How you you feel if some one republish or use your book without acknowledging that it was your work?”
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Online Research Skills

Have you ever put your key words between two quotation marks when researching online? What does it do? Have you ever used boolean operators such as ‘and’, ‘or’ and ‘not’? What about exclamation mark ‘!’ or asterisk ‘*’?

This Clickview video provides very good strategies and tips when doing online research. We are teaching these skills to the Year 7 students and we think teachers should be familiar with these skills as well. You can reinforce them in your class to improve your student outcomes.

https://online.clickview.com.au/mylibrary/videos/dc1cfbba-aab5-575c-b77b-1d62f17726bc

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Tips for Classroom Management in a BYOD

  1. Laptop is only a learning tool
    1. It is meant to enhance their learning
    2. Balance it with pen and paper activities
  2. You are in charge, not them
    1. Set clear expectations of WHEN students will be using devices in your classroom, and when they wont!
    2. Laptop Lids to 45 degrees or tablets turned over when ever you want to give verbal instructions
    3. Close your lid when you really want to make an important point!
    4. Have students turn “knees towards me” when you are giving instruction.
    5. Devices are used only at teacher discretion,
    6. Bring it out when they need it. Put it away when they don’t.
  3. Ask others before you ask me
    1. Students should ask three other students how to do something before asking the teacher. Especially w/ BYOD, students can assist each other.
  4. What is the analog equivalent?
    1. How do you handle students’ off task behaviors without technology? Often, the solution for students misusing the technology will be similar.
    2. Also useful when a student is without his/her computer for the day.
  5. You do not need to know how to use every device/tool. But you should know what they can do. 
    1. Students will know how their device works and the teacher will not have to be responsible for understanding how each device works.
  6. Walk Around!
    1. If you are walking around, students are more likely to be on task and ask questions, than if you are sitting behind your desk.
    2. Stand at the back of the classroom if you give them instructions that requires work on computer
  7. Always have a “Plan B”
    1. Some days, things will not work for both tech and non-tech infused lessons. When that happens, it’s important to be flexible and have an alternative lesson at hand.
  8. Communicate what will you allow the kids to do when they are done with classwork.
    1. Heaps of online resources and activities for extension
  9. If you plan to lecture, consider appointing a student as a note taker
    1. Use Google Doc or OneNote and share it with the class
  10. Relax.
    1. You’ve been through more difficult challenges. Smile and be open to learning something new.
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Useful Features of Google Docs

Here is a list of some Google Docs features that I think very handy to know. They can save our time and help our students in doing their work

1. The Define Tool (Ctrl+Shift+Y)
Do you need to look up a word? Getting definitions of words is pretty easy already since Google built dictionary results into search. This saves you from opening up a new tab for that task. Highlight a word, hit (Ctrl+Shift+Y), and Google will open up a panel on the side with the definition of that word.

2. Research Panel (Ctrl+Alt+Shift+I)
I have talked about this in my previous posting (check ‘Google Research Tool’). But this is a short cut to it. The panel that opens when you look up a definition can actually do a lot more than just look up words (though that function is useful enough to get its own separate menu option).

Press (Ctrl+Alt+Shift+I) to open up the research panel where you can quickly search the web, find pictures, look up articles on Google Scholar (another service you might not be using to its full potential) and tons more. It’s an excellent starting point for finding information and you might even find sources you wouldn’t find via a regular Google search.

3. Go Back in Time with Revision History (Ctrl+Alt+Shift+G)
Wouldn’t it be great if you can go back in time? You get halfway through a document, decide to rewrite it, only to realize that it was better the first time.

Good news! You can. With the revision history explorer, you can pull up any major and most minor changes to your document since its inception. Press (Ctrl+Alt+Shift+G) to open up the revision explorer. Major revisions will be shown by default, but if you want to see the minor changes, click “Show more detailed revisions” at the bottom. The feature is enabled by default so you can even check this out on any documents you’ve already created.

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Quizlet

Quizlet is a learning tool to help students learn and understand new words.

They can do various activities like learn, spell, listen and match; and then test themselves.

The best part of this tool is, it takes no time to create an activity for your class. You’ll love its ‘auto define’ feature!

  1. Using Google Chrome (recommended), go to: quizlet.com
  2. Sign up to create an account using your google account (our school email account is a google account). Choose the free account first, if you like it, you can always upgrade to the paid account.
  3. Create classes (e.g. Yr 7 ICT WHSC)
  4. Create an activity (make sure it is visible to your class and only allow yourselves to edit)
  5. Tell your class to create a Quizlet account and join your class (most of the students already have accounts anyway)
  6. Need more help? Contact ES
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