Kahoot! – Not as bad as I remember but still not great

Back in 2014 I reviewed Kahoot! and was pretty harsh on it. I had sluggish performance, connectivity issues and I didn’t care for the teacher/presenter centric nature of the activity. Despite all those issues Kahoot! seems to have gone on to relative success! Just about any teacher I talk to has either heard of it, knows a teacher who uses it or uses it themselves. Since it is so popular I thought I would give it another go. I mean five years has passed – can it win me over this time?

What is Kahoot!

Kahoot is an interactive question and answer system. A question pops up on a screen and the student/participant answers the question as quickly as they can from multiple options. The faster they answer, they more points they receive. If the student(s) get the question wrong, they receive no points for that round.

At the end of each round it shows a scoreboard so you can see who is winning. It also has a catchy audio loop during the quiz. Did I say catchy? Well, you be the judge. I think it ages like an opened bottle of $2 wine.

Teacher dashboard

There are two Kahoot! sites. One is for the teacher to create and manage Kahoots! and reports and the other is where the student(s) go to find the Kahoot! and start playing. Let’s take a look at the teacher side first. Here is the dashboard.

Pretty straight forward. You can create Kahoots!, browse through other popular Kahoots! and Host games of Kahoot!

For a Kahoot! you host, you can get a report of that game to see who played, how well they performed and so on. Pretty good metrics. To get this information just click on Reports from the top menu.

Then you have the option of downloading it as an Excel file. When you open it up, it does look better than it did five years ago. Notice the worksheet tabs at the bottom. Here you can navigate through more detailed information to figure out what answers were selected (correct and incorrect) and what points they received. The points will give the teacher an idea of how quickly they were able to answer the question.

Creating a Kahoot!

I have to give them points here. This tool is quick and easy to use, easy to navigate between different questions. Let’s take a look at what they offer.

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As you can see it is pretty straightforward. Not a lot of explanation is needed. This is nice.

I wish they had a little more question types. Right now you can only pick a multiple choice or true/false. That is it? Why not matching? Why not fill in the blank? Why not ordering? I do understand that playing a Kahoot! is fast and fun and having to adjust to different questions takes a little more time but come on!

Also, once you add a question type you cannot change it. So if I have a multiple choice question and want to convert it to a true/false type I cannot do that. I can delete or duplicate a question only. Not a big deal but it would be nice to switch on the fly.

One feature that is sort of nice is the ability to add symbols to a question. This makes it good for math. I am not sure you are going to be able to throw some calculus up there but for elementary and middle school math this should be fine.

You can also change the general settings of the Kahoot!. You can give it a name, description (which is highly recommended), pick where you want to save it and who can see it. You also have the ability to add a YouTube video which is what people can watch while waiting for the Khaoot! to start. Make sure you click the Done button and your Kahoot is then ready to be played.

Playing my Kahoot!

As the teacher, you need to go to your dashboard, find the Kahoot! and click Play. This view is nice because you can also see all the questions and answers. This is nice so you make sure you didn’t click the wrong Kahoot! if you have many of them. Also, it is a quick way to check for mistakes.

Before you start the game you do have two options. You can either make it Classic mode (each person has their own device) or a Team mode where teams are against other teams. I’m just going to do the Classic. You also have the option of using a name generator. Kahoot! will create the name that is displayed for the user. If not the user can create their own name (be careful teachers of naughty students who). Luckily you will see all the names before it starts, but if someone has made and inappropriate name it will mean more waiting for the rest of the class.

So I ran the Kahoot! on my computer and joined it with my smartphone using the app. A colleague of mine also joined in on her computer. Before the teacher (me in this case) started the game I got to see that I had the correct number of participants. To join, I had to put in the game PIN on the app and my colleague had to put in the PIN on Kahoot.it Once we joined I started the game!

My pervious complaint is back. As a contestant or player I do not see the question on my smartphone screen and neither did my colleague. We both had to look at the computer that was hosting the Kahoot! Annoying and a waste of space for our screens. Check out a screenshot from my phone during a true/false question.

Also we can’t see the choices. Why? Why not put the question and the choices there? It seems like a no brainer but in five years they have not fixed this! Maybe it bothers me a little too much but it seems like such a simple fix.

Now for some reason there was no music playing during my Kahoot! Not sure if that was my computer having issues or if I somehow disabled the music. I went back in and played another Kahoot! and the sound started to play again, so I am pretty sure it was my computer the first time.

So when you get a question correct or incorrect it lets you know which is nice and in between questions is shows you who is winning. Also, you only have so much time to answer a question which does keep the game moving at a good pace.

The music is just as annoying as it was 5 years ago.

Kahoot Challenges

OK – there is a way for students to participate in a Kahoot! by themselves and actually see the questions and choices on their screen (one of my biggest gripes). It is called a Kahoot! Challenge. A teacher can set this up and give a time frame of when a student can complete the challenge.

From the same screen you start a Kahoot! you can select Play or Challenge. If you select Challenge you have to put an end date and time like you see below.

Then you get a URL link for the challenge and the Challenge PIN. You also can share it directly through a few services.

So, if you have the app on an Android device, an iOS device or some select Chromebooks (ones that allow Google Play store apps to be installed), the student just fires that up, enter the PIN and they are off. Here is what one of the questions looks like from my smartphone.

See that! It is the QUESTION! It is right there! Wait! I can also see the choices!! See, folks it is totally doable.

OK – I’m happy about that. Now, here is what I am unhappy about.

Hmmmm – that is from my MacBook. Maybe I messed up? NOPE! You need the app on a mobile device to play a Kahoot! Challenge. There is no way around it, even though they give you a friggin link to the challenge! Why give the link if you can’t access it from a Windows, Mac, Linux or Chromebook? Why can’t this be played in a browser like other a regular Kahoot?

Reports

After a Kahoot! or a Kahoot! Challenge the teacher can access a report and see who participated, their score, which questions people got wrong and which questions most people got right and if they got it wrong, which answer did they chose. This is good data for a teacher to be sure. It gives that person good information to go and investigate further and find out where there are gaps. The reports look good and even though it is in Excel format, you can open that file up with any modern spreadsheet program.

Conclusion

Kahoot! isn’t as bad as I remembered back in 2014 but that’s not to say that it is great either. If you use it, that’s totally fine. Teachers like reliable tools and if this is working for you keep on, keeping on, but I urge you to check out some other options out there such as Quizizz, Quizlet, Google Forms and more. They may not have that catchy tune and may not be as “fun” but they will all give you the same data and guess what it works with any device with an Internet connection.

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Computer Science Empathy

ITBabble No Frills Video Series

By: Tony DePrato | Follow me on LinkedIn

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Episode 171 – Roller Madness

Tony and Patrick are back for another great episode. We talk about mice, student information systems and more! Check out the talking points below and as always subscribe to us on iTunes or your favorite podcasting app.

  1. Patrick’s new mouse – Logitech MX Ergo
    1.  https://www.logitech.com/en-us/product/mx-ergo-wireless-trackball-mouse
  2. What’s a Student Information System (SIS)? And why you should care
    1. One Roster – http://www.imsglobal.org/activity/onerosterlis
  3. People still teaching flash and a mention about CAD – Tinker Cad , SketchUp Pro
    1. Adobe Animate – https://www.adobe.com/products/animate.html
    2. Tinkercad – https://www.tinkercad.com/
    3. SketchUp Pro – https://www.sketchup.com/products/sketchup-pro
    4. Autodesk – https://www.autodesk.com/
  4. Kahoot! Challenges do not work with Chromebooks without the Google Play Store
    1. I reviewed Kahoot! In April of 2014 – I still don’t like it
    2. https://itbabble.com/2014/04/30/kahoot-yeah-you-should-not-use-this/
    3. Alternatives – Quiziz, Socrative, Quizlet

Download this episode HERE

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NASA, Still Pretty Cool and Open for High School

Screen Shot 2019-09-10 at 1.46.56 PM

By: Tony DePrato | Follow me on LinkedIn

NASA has a program for High School Students. Take a few minutes, and see if your students can participate. Be bothered. Be engaged. 


 

 

All details can be reviewed with this link:

https://www.nasa.gov/centers/johnson/stem/High_School_Aerospace_Scholars.html

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Episode 170 -EMERGENCY! YOU MUST LISTEN

Tony and Patrick are back for an important announcement that could save your MacBook Pro when you travel!

Be sure to subscribe to us on iTunes or your favorite podcasting app.

  1. Airlines banning certain MacBook Pros
    1. https://www.macrumors.com/2019/08/29/macbook-pro-some-airline-restrictions/
  2. Google getting serious about Enterprise
    1. https://www.theverge.com/2019/8/26/20832925/google-chromebook-enterprise-dell-laptops-microsoft-windows-challenge-businesses
    2. Chrome OS not going anywhere!
  3. Amazon Web Services
  4. Office 365 Video Streaming

Download the episode HERE

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Episode 169 – It’s not cheating?

Tony and Patrick are at it again with another great episode. We talk about some NFL news, some advice to homeroom/advisory teachers and much more including what constitutes cheating this day and age? Check out the talking points below.

As always, be sure to subscribe to us on iTunes or your favorite podcasting app.

  1. Andrew Luck retiring
  2. Advisories/Homeroom advice
    1. Advisory/Homeroom challenge/mystery
    2. Keep it light and fun and don’t force participation
  3. Presenting a slideshow? Keep it brief by Patrick Cauley
    1. https://itbabble.com/2019/08/12/presenting-a-slideshow-keep-it-brief/
    2. Presentation advice
      1. iMovie
      2. Prezi
      3. Keynote, PowerPoint (SkyDrive), Google Slides
      4. Stay away from animation/transitions
  4. When TurnItIn Fails by Tony DePrato
    1. https://itbabble.com/2019/08/22/when-turnitin-fails/
    2. Paying for intellectual property
    3. Cheating with project based learning (PBL)
    4. Pre Assessment is important

You can download this episode HERE

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When TurnItIn Fails

cermicsfinalBy: Tony DePrato | Follow me on LinkedIn

 

Plagiarism is serious issue for most high schools. It is rare to find a school without a detailed plagiarism policy. Most of these policies have a few tiers, because it is common for students to commit plagiarism more than once in their academic career.

Unfortunately, the tools educators rely on only cover a small portion of things students can plagiarize. In the last decade I have seen inauthentic:

 

  • Computer Science projects
  • Art projects
  • Websites
  • Math internal assessments (IB)
  • Research papers with a perfect Turn It In score
  • Foreign language course work
  • 3D printing
  • etc…

 

In many of these cases, the student and their parents argued that the work was not plagiarized. These people had full legal ownership of the end product, because they paid for the work, or paid for someone to help guide the work.

 

The work is often a result of tutoring, where the student did technically do the work, but was aided along the way. Sometimes this support did result in the tutor physically contributing to the final product.

 

These situations are complicated. They are well beyond someone simply copying an academic paper.

 

Identifying Inauthentic Work and Projects

 

As soon as I mention plagiarism, people are quick to react. In every conversation, people ask me, “How did you know it was not their work?” or “How did you prove they did not do it on their own?”.

 

I find the first problem with most project-based planning is a lack of pre-assessment. Students need a baseline assessment. Teachers should be assessing projects on some sort of trendline. The measurements being used need to monitor growth, and not simply check off rubric boxes.

 

If teachers set baseline assessments for every project, they can clearly find students who are developing seemingly accelerated skills in a very short time. If the teacher suspects a problem, they can require all the students to do an in-class timed assignment. These assignments need to encourage the students to practice their skills without risking their grades. Students who have been submitting inauthentic work will most likely show signs of stress, become angry, and/or ask to leave the room.

 

Rubrics Can Be a Roadmap for Cheating

 

Rubrics should guide students toward a standard, but they should be flexible enough that the end result is a product of a student’s imagination and creativity. In fact, if a student has a great idea, the rubric could be put to the side (a discussion for another time.)

 

I have seen an increase in teachers providing students with highly detailed rubrics, designed to meet detailed criteria. In those cases, it does seem as if the teacher would like all the student work to be nearly identical. Those highly detailed rubrics are essentially a blueprint for a tutor.

 

Rubrics that leave no room for personalization, are going to increase cheating. There is a sense that students need to be trusted, and educators must trust students to make good decisions. However, schools usually do not let students use phones during exams, or walk into copy rooms with cameras. Why? Because they are young and impulsive. They will sometimes make bad choices, and simply using good practice to remove temptation is not a violation of trust.

 

Projects are Assessments, Plan them Accordingly

 

Many schools have an assessment calendar or planner. These are used to ensure students do not have three or four tests (or exams) on a single day. Projects are often left off of these planning documents. I have made this mistake numerous times leading project-based courses.

 

Project due dates are often pushed and changed, and therefore the final due date may shift. Adding a due date to an assessment calendar requires other teachers to plan their assessments around those dates. Changing those dates can create havoc. Not being able to change those dates can impact students who need more time, or were denied time due to some unforeseen past issue.

 

When students feel the pressure of a final project they might make the choice to seek outside help. Having a tutor is not plagiarism, but often project-based disciplines lead to the tutor doing the work on behalf of the student.

 

Planning projects with three or four important due dates allows student work to be assessed in stages and reduces the risk of missing the final deadline. I personally feel that having multiple stages reduces stress, although my evidence is purely anecdotal.

 

Current technology and online services cannot identify cheating within project-based courses. Teachers need to know their students, and plan accordingly to reduce those impulsive and misguided choices teenagers often make.

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Episode 168

We are back! Welcome to the 2019-2020 school year! Today we (Tony and Patrick) talk about a few items, but most noticeably is a kick ass t-shirt printer that is waaay too expensive for either of our schools! Check out the talking points below, subscribe to us on iTunes or your favorite podcasting app or listen below!

  1. Back to School!
    1. Goals for the year
  2. A Positive Start Matters by Tony Departo
    1. https://itbabble.com/2019/08/05/a-positive-start-matters/
  3. PSA
    1. PSA Flash is dying by Patrick Cauley
    2. https://itbabble.com/2019/08/10/psa-flash-is-dying/
    3. https://www.blog.google/products/chrome/saying-goodbye-flash-chrome/
    4. Microsoft Office will die in 2025
    5. https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4506814/products-ending-support-in-2025
  4. Brother T-Shirt Printer – The GTX
    1. http://dtgprinters.brother.com/GTX_PPC?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=t%20shirt%20printer&utm_campaign=&utm_content=&gclid=CjwKCAjwqNnqBRATEiwAkHm2BJ7odQR68hdrgsyAe1mJed7YI156m8GDv-Luf0Ttz1pmhhmkuQ6exxoCW8AQAvD_BwE 

Download the episode HERE!

 

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Presenting a slideshow? Keep it brief

brevity

It is back to school which means there are a lot of PowerPoints, Keynotes, Google Slide shows that are going to be presented to students, parents and staff. I’ve got some tips for making yours better than the most.

Keep it short

The quote for good old Bill Shakespeare sums it up nicely. Present your points clearly, concisely and move on. Don’t give “humorous” anecdotes or stories that have nothing to do with your presentation. Also, don’t think you need to tell your audience everything that is going on. Find the major talking points and focus on those.

The Rule of Six

This is more of a guideline than a rule. It basically says no more than 6 words per title or bullet point and no more than 6 bullet points per slide. I use this because if I find myself going past the 6 words in a bullet point then this guideline forces me to rethink what I’ve written. If I can’t fit it on the bullet point in less than 6 words then it needs another bullet point. If I can’t explain it in 6 bullet points than I need another slide.

No sentences

There are exceptions here (quotes, mission statements, etc.), but I avoid sentences on a presentation like a Midwestern Pothole. I want to keep it to a word or just a few words. I almost never hit the 6 word limit. I want to explain the topic to them. If I am saying everything that is on the slide, then why am I up there wasting these people’s time? My audiences are all educated and can read and think for themselves.

Almost no animations/transitions

I used to love these damn things. I found it fun to apply new animations and transitions to slideshows just to see what can be done. The bottom line is that this slows down your presentation and they are usually unnecessary. It may only be a combined time of 5-10 extra seconds, but that might be enough time for audience to slump back in their chairs and start to tune you out.

If you use these animations all the time whatever the animations where there to emphasize is lost because everything has an animation. Avoid them.

Don’t read your slides

Again, maybe you are emphasizing a point like the school’s mission statement or a quote from a person, but typically don’t read your damn slides! The people watching your presentation are educated and can read themselves, they don’t need you to read it to them.

Also, you shouldn’t have that info in a paragraph or collection of sentences in the first place. If you do have a long string of words up, you don’t need to read it. Maybe wait in silence for a few seconds while the audience has a chance to read it and then further expound upon that topic or move on.

Templates and Color

When making a presentation you often have quite a few templates you can chose from and most of them look great on your computer screen. The problem comes when it shines through an aging projector who may not be as bright or the colors may not be as accurate.

I ran into this last week. I had an organizational chart that showed current projects that had not been started, started and completed. The projector did not convey those colors accurately so all the projects looked the same color. It was a bit of a fail.

If you have a really colorful template or specific colors used on text be cautious! I am making more and more of my presentations with a plain white background and black text. Even if the color goes out due to a bad VGA cord, my presentation will still be perfectly viewable.

Fonts

Chose fonts based on your audience. Kindergartners may like Comic Sans, but presenting to their parents is not really appropriate. It simply doesn’t look professional. Also stick with the same font throughout your presentation.

Rehearse

The last bit of advice I have is to rehearse! Practice it early and often. Even if it is just you in your office, bedroom, car – practice. You may feel silly at first but when you present it your audience will appreciate it. Through rehearsing you gain more and more understanding of what it is you want to say and how you want to say it. You also find that your slideshow does not reflect all the points you want to talk about and you often end up revising it. This will also give you more confidence when presenting because you know the presentation so well.

This practice also makes you extremely adaptable for unforeseen events. Last week, a presenter found herself with less time for one reason or another. She did not have time to go through her entire presentation so she had to figure out, on the fly, what she was going to skip and what she was going to highlight. Rehearsing may have made those choices a little easier for her and made her presentation go a little smoother. Again, not her fault finding herself in that situation but rehearsing could have smoothed out the tough spots.

Posted in Helpful Tips, Patrick Cauley | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

PSA – Flash is dying

Folks, this is not new news. In fact it was fist reported back in 2017, but you will start hearing more about soon. Adobe Flash Player is finally dying. All major browsers will be phasing it out and it will most likely stop working all together sometime in 2020.

So what does this mean? Well if you (or another teacher) uses a site that requires Flash player that site will work for a little while. You may have to give it permission to use Flash player over and over again and by the end of 2020 it simply will not work.

There are a lot of BBC educational sites that were built using Flash. Here is a popular one that I have seen in a few schools.

BBC archived all these sites a while ago. This leads me to believe that they are not going to rebuild it for modern day standards meaning it will eventually cease to work 😦

So you have time. Start looking for other resources, reach out to your PLN, search the web, talk to your colleagues and find that replacement piece for your unit.

https://www.blog.google/products/chrome/saying-goodbye-flash-chrome/

Posted in Helpful Tips, Patrick Cauley | Tagged , | 1 Comment