New Ways to Reach Students
I’m always trying to find new ways to engage and inform my students about whatever subject I’m teaching, whether it’s through a game or quiz or a presentation.
Some things, unfortunately, might hinder learning. Smartphones, for example, can be a distraction for both teachers and students; students are drawn to them when they are bored or simply can’t understand what’s happening in class, and teachers are in the position of either ignoring their use or directing students to put them away. I tend to fall into the latter category, as I think it’s rude to ignore a person who’s trying to help you learn, and the student is wasting both his or her time and money. I try to make it clear that I’m looking out for their best interests.
To help my students avoid the temptation of smartphone use, I try to make my language lessons interactive, fast paced, and fun. One way to simultaneously have fun, learn and allow the students to use smartphones is to use a great website called Kahoot! Kahoot! allows educators to create quizzes that can be played online, during or after class. I generally have my university students download the app (there are iOS and Android versions) and play against each other in the class. They log into the game using a number generated by Kahoot! Then, I display the questions on the classroom’s projector, using my internet connected laptop. The multiple choice questions are timed and have a descending value, so the faster you answer, the higher your points. After each round, a leaderboard shows the points gained. The reaction to the game has been universally positive- I think it’s due to a combination of being allowed to use smartphones and playing an entertaining game.
Watch this space for a follow-up review. I’ll post a video if the students agree to it 🙂
Meanwhile, game on!