One of the benefits of substitute teaching is the opportunity to try out new games and technology. Often, I discover new activities that work well in a co-op or a more intimate homeschool setting as well. This is just what happened in the days prior to the holiday break when I was assigned to a sixth grade classroom.
Like all schools, the days leading up to break are always a little chaotic. The teacher is reluctant to begin new material and the kids are anxious to get home and just do their own thing.
In preparation for my two day assignment, the classroom teacher introduced me to an online game called Kahoot – a free learning platform for educators and students. Their mission is to make learning something everyone can – and wants to – connect with.
Kahoot! is intended to provide a unique learning experience that teaches through play. Whether you’re a teacher, coach, co-op leader, or party event host, your curation of this experience is what makes this truly awesome. Kahoots cannot be played without a leader hosting it.
The kids absolutely loved the game format – everyone was allowed to use their own device or one of the classroom iPads. It was engaging and provided a fun way to review material.
Step 1: Setup
If you’re trying to play a kahoot alone, you can use two devices (one to lead and one to play), following the instructions below. You can also try Preview Mode.
If you’re leading a kahoot for others to play, your device should be connected to something that all of your learners can see, such as:
- A projector screen, computer monitor, or large TV for playing locally
- A service like Youtube Live or Skype to stream your screen online
To play, students log into the website or if they prefer, download the app for quick access. It is available for both Android and Apple iOS devices.
You’ll also need to have found or created a kahoot. Here’s a fun sample kahoot I threw together to give you an idea of how the system works: Homeschooling Fun. Start by clicking the “play” button. You should now be at a loading screen.
When ready, select a game mode (classic or team) to launch the kahoot.
Step 2: Play
You should now see a lobby screen, where instructions to go to kahoot.it and enter a game PIN are displayed. Leave this page open as students follow the instructions on their own devices. As they join, you’ll see their nicknames appear on your screen. Click ‘Start’ once everyone has joined.
Once the kahoot has begun, a question will appear on your screen (whether you’ve chosen to project it on a Smartboard, TV, or computer monitor). The answer choices will then appear; the original question will still be visible but it will be minimized at the top of the screen.
Players review the content on your screen and then choose a box on their screen that corresponds with one of the answers. You can wait until everyone answers or the timer gets to 0, or you can click ‘Skip’ to move on. To move through results screens and get to the next question, simply click the ‘Next’ button.
Once all questions have been answered, you’ll be able to collect feedback from the students and download results if desired.
You can save public kahoots if you wish to use them again later. Your favorites can easily be found under “My Kahoots” > “My Favorites” page.
Here are the URLs you will need to access Kahoot:
- For players to join a kahoot: https://kahoot.it/
- For teachers to create, search, and host: https://create.kahoot.it/
You can find it at:
You can also setup custom website shortcuts on your device’s home screen.