Supercharge School: 4 Benefits Of Replacing PowerPoints With This...
Motivation. Engagement. Application. Feedback. Repetition.
This is year 15 for me and I strongly believe achieving all of the above in one class period requires major creativity.
And achieving it using a PowerPoint presentation? Well... That's just plain insane talk, if you ask me.
But... Have no fear! I recently discovered and tested a more swag way of teaching, applying what I learned from Matt Miller's Teach with Kahoot! blog post that explains how to use Kahoot! to deliver instruction. And, I immediately saw the benefits.
Kahoot! is an online app that is most commonly used as a review game that allows students to use their phones (or other e-devices) to answer questions and check their memory and understanding of previously learned concepts.
The chemistry lesson I created and test drove with my students today was a direct result of Matt's post as I ventured into facilitating new concept learning with Kahoot!.
Check it out.
Question 1 reinforced a concept we learned the day before.
Question 2 was the Blind Question that students were likely to get wrong as we have not talked about calories before. I prepared my students for it ahead of time and told them I will explain the concept in the next question. I also encouraged them to take their best educated guess right before I played the Blind Question.
I used Question 3 to explain the concept of calorie and Question 4 the concept of the Joule (not shown). I used the text definition, an image, and spoken word to deliver this. I told students these particular questions are not scored, so they do not affect their game ranking, and that I want them to answer after I explain each concept to get feedback on whether they understand it or not. Notice the increased 120 second "Time limit."
Questions 5 through 8 were application questions of varying difficulty to have students apply, not just regurgitate the new concept.
Question 9 was a new Blind Question as "specific heat" is sneakily similar to "calorie."
Followed by Question 10, an unscored explanation/feedback slide.
Followed by several application/reinforcement/repetition questions.
I received mostly Awesomes and Way betters, some Differents, and a few Lames. Maybe I can't make everyone happy, but this lesson worked very well and has definitely made its way into my permanent toolbox. I will use Kahoot! to teach, not just review again.
The Gamification Motivation
Students like Kahoot!, because it combines learning with gaming and allows them to compete against each other. The time constraint provides a sense of urgency and makes learning of difficult concepts less of a chore; fast paced nature of the game and all. The competition is rather harmless, as students compete for game points and maintain anonymity. It's best practice to let them use nicknames they create. There's safety in knowing you will not be judged by your peers or teachers, so you are free to stumble as you learn.
Active Learning: Engagement and Application
The Kahoot! Lesson is a lot more interactive than PowerPoint, or other presentations for that matter. All students get the opportunity to learn actively. During traditional lectures, a small fraction of the class is willing to answer questions. Kahoot! lesson? All students answer without fear of being wrong (failure) and because they participate actively they remember and understand more. They apply the new concepts immediately. They learn more.
As time to answer each question expires and the results show up, the whole class gets feedback. Students receive it instantly and so does the teacher. Based on the feedback, the teacher can reiterate and reexplain right then and there without much fuss. Misconceptions and misunderstandings are addressed immediately. Bam! You can move on to the next question.
Repetition and Reflection
It is important to have several (2-4) questions that allow application and reinforce each new concept introduced in the Blind Question and explained using the question that follows. Such repetition is crucial for long term memory and formation of neural connections that lead to deeper understanding. Instant feedback leads to metacognition in the form of reflection on own learning. Thoughts are modified, understanding amplified. And you can extend it all by using an exit ticket that stimulates further reflection. Just ask your students to Tweet a summary or a comparison of the new concepts.
There are more than 4 benefits to doing it the Kahoot! way, but 4 are more than enough to give it a shot. But in case you're not convinced consider this:
- Flexibility - any grade level, any subject. Bring. It. On.
- Differentiation/Personalization - different media, various learning strategies, more time/room for questions of varying difficulty, using own or borrowed device to participate, can partner up etc.
- Deeper Learning - lesson delivery intertwined with application. feedback, and reflection on learning. I mean really...
- Simple - Use the Power of Three and stick to 3 or fewer new concepts and reinforce them using the same 3 step pattern: Blind Question, Teach, Apply to Check for Understanding.
- Recyclable - Once you create the Kahoot! Lesson, you can reuse it a few days or even weeks later for spaced repetition and review. If the lesson went well, you have a gem to use next year. And, you can use the template to make other lessons. Is that so bad???
Damn. Convincing you is hard work! Here's the lesson I created and used today, so you can use it as a template to make your own --> Specific Heat Kahoot! Lesson. Use it or else...
You have the power to change the world. Use it often.