Kahoot is a hoot! Easy to develop and fun to play, students will love engaging with this online quiz game!
I love a lot of things about Kahoot. What I love the most is how engaging it is for students. They always get excited about it. When I'm not using it, they want to know when we'll be doing it again! It plays into their natural competitive sense as well as their love of technology and alternative learning activities. Kahoot is also very simple to use. When time is short (When isn't it?) pre-made Kahoots can often be found to meet a teacher's needs. Even if you prefer to create your own Kahoot (I usually do), it doesn't take long (approximately 15 minutes). This ability to create exactly what I need in a short amount of time is extremely valuable. Another great feature of Kahoot is its ability to generate reports which allow you to conduct an error analysis by question and/or student. This provides formative assessment data to drive future instruction.
One glaring limitation of Kahoot is the fact that its questioning format is solely selected-response. This obviously does not allow for students to construct their own responses to articulate their thinking. The teacher can still develop higher level thinking questions, but the response format still comes down to selected response. Another, albeit minor, limitation is the fact that some students can be turned off by the competitive format. Kahoot does not provide for differentiation in a whole group setting, such as extended time to respond, or reading questions/answers aloud as needed. I've seen students get frustrated and quit because of the pressure of the timer and the cumulative effects of missed answers. This can be negated somewhat by turning off the "podium" display or using Kahoot in a small group setting with differentiated questions, answers, and time allocations (although this could also mean creating multiple versions of the same Kahoot).
Overall, I recommend Kahoot as an engaging and easy-to-use classroom tool for testing students' knowledge in a fun way.
How I Use It
I've used Kahoot in two ways: teacher-created and student-created. Each approach offers its own unique advantages, so I'll address each separately.
Public domain teacher-created Kahoots can be found through search terms on the site https://create.kahoot.it/ or developed after creating a free account and login. Pre-made Kahoots can be found in just about every content area (social studies, science geography, mathematics, English language arts, etc.) along with specific topics for each (for example: place value, fractions, geometry, basic operations, and problem solving). If you can't find what you're looking for, you can quickly and easily create your own custom-made Kahoot with the exact questions, answers, and graphics you're looking for. Kahoots consist of a series of questions developed by the teacher paired with selected response choices for students. I've used this tool to pre-assess students' knowledge prior to beginning a new unit or topic, as well as a formative assessment technique to check students' concept attainment. It can also be used in place of a paper and pencil math warm-up activity. The time limit on each question and assignment of points based on correct answers and speed of answer selection also create a fun, competitive format.
Student-created Kahoots are a more student-centered approach to using this tool. Students can use their knowledge to synthesize their own questions based on a topic and assign the Kahoot to a teacher or classmates. This allows them to demonstrate higher level thinking skills through their own questions and answers. My students have used Kahoot to develop questions about a social studies unit on Exploration and World Cultures based on a specific rubric which articulated question topics, number of questions, and required question stems (who, what, where, when, how, why, in what way, etc.).