A Letter to ScOLa Teachers from a Kahooter
Do you have difficulty convincing yourself that technology can really help learning not only as teacher but also as a learner? You think it will not have a positive long-term effect? Well, no worries. I had the same concern, but last summer something changed the way I felt about it, and that was the beginning of my experimental use of mobiles for ‘’learning’’ in class.
What led to this paradigm shift?
I’ve been pursuing some studies on Literacy within Intercultural & Migration Studies since 2010, so I decided to deepen these studies by taking part in a Grundtvig project in Denmark last August. I actually took this on as a challenge because the focus of the workshop was how to cope with Illiteracy through digital literacy, which included the use of many online platforms, applications and especially games. I realized that the Danes employed games in almost all the activities to teach Danish to the immigrants and refugees in their language schools.
Learning through games?
During the workshop David Jorgensen, who is a pedagogical ICT counselor and a trainer for adult foreigners residing in Denmark, introduced us a very engaging and fun game called Kahoot. In one of our school visits we had the chance to observe a lesson where the students used their Ipads or mobiles to play Kahoot. There were Iraqi, Thai, Pakistani and Bosnian students aged between 25 and 45. The Iraqi students were especially familiar to me because physically or expression-wise they could be like anyone from Turkey, a certain Ahmet or Mehmet, which, funnily enough, helped me internalize this experience. The teacher aimed to revise ‘’the seasons and weather conditions’’ through Kahoot. The moment they started the game, something changed in the energy of the class and in the eyes of the participants, including us. They all became very task-focused with full attention, but at the same time they were having real fun. The adrenalin, the motivation to win and the curiosity kept the whole class active and totally involved. But what changed the way I felt about it was when I saw the 45 year-old Iraqi Mahmud having so much fun and feeling accomplished while playing the Kahoot and seeing that he could learn and play a game at any age.
Kahoot is not impeccable…
After that experience I decided to pilot Kahoot in my elementary level classes and observed many aspects of it. The students really love it, but they should definitely know the rationale behind it. That they see it as a game is not a problem, but they need to know why they are playing it.
Obviously, Kahoot is a learning tool just like many others and it has its pros and cons to consider, but as a teacher you can decide how to implement Kahoot considering your student profile and set out different rules depending on their needs and the class dynamics, as every class has its own.
I would encourage you to chime in if you have any experiences with Kahoot.
For more information about Kahoot:
Deniz KILAVUZ for ScOLa CPD Blog