At first, I thought to replicate online what I usually do in a classroom. I have faced some challenges (traditional learning engagements to develop and assess interpersonal and presentational speaking did not work; keep the interest of 5 years-old students for 45 minutes, play games or sing songs online is almost impossible, and by the end, poor internet connections, etc.).
I have been working as a WL teacher for the last seventeen years. At the beginning of my carrier, I was the primary resource in class, and I was leading the learning process. Nowadays, technology is changing the way we teach and leading to the emergence of a new pedagogy.
The new pedagogy requires educating students with new skills and knowledge (critical thinking, independent learning, and the use of relevant technology).
In my final project, the students take an active role in developing a learning pathway and creating the final product.
Kahoot Games as a New Approach in a WL classroom
I have started to use Kahoot two years ago and found that students of different ages love to play Kahoot games. I used Kahoot games for a variety of goals:
- Introduce new vocabulary
- Assess prior knowledge
- Improve reading skills
- Formative assessments
When I evaluated this platform, I looked at it as an Augmentation in the SAMR model. The technology is used to substitute the traditional way of teaching “with some enhancement to the student experience.” (SAMR Model: A Practical Guide for EdTech Integration)
Kahoot’s format is only multiple-choice questions.
It would be great to have a choice of different answering formats in Kahoot. It can be used to check a simple understanding of vocabulary from a unit. Also, questions and answers choices can be a deeper level of thinking if students have enough vocabulary and knowledge of the subject. For example, when I assess my students’ prior knowledge, the question will be “What is it?” If I want to evaluate their knowledge, the questions will be “What is the main street of Moscow? What does it mean, Red Square?”
The competitive nature of the application makes the students use proper hand-eye coordination and quick problem-solving; improve their reading skills in a foreign language. Students always ask for more games.
The next step of using Kahoot and reevaluate its meaning was when I asked my grade 5 students to create their own Kahoot games. The task was to watch the video about general geographic knowledge and create a Kahoot game to check the classmates’ understanding. This task takes the Kahoot platform to the higher level of the SAMR model. I believe it is Modification. We are moving from enhancement to transformation, and the task requires critical thinking and problem-solving skills. First, to choose the main concepts, then come up with various answers, select a good image.
Language-wise – the answers should give a hint, but not repeat the words from the video; it means to use synonyms; write numbers in words not in numbers because you do not assess the understanding in Russian.
The students’ reflections were the following:
“Next type I will check the spelling of the words if I see the words were underlined with the red lines. It looks like my classmates could not understand some of my answers.”
“I should type the numbers in words.”
“Next time, I will use a variety of questions, not only questions about facts.”
I found that this type of activity increases the students’ motivation and allows students to demonstrate their language knowledge and skills and integrate their digital skills to be a Knowledge Constructor and “critically curate a variety of resources using digital tools to construct knowledge, produce creative artifacts and make meaningful learning experiences for themselves and others.” (ISTE STANDARDS FOR STUDENTS)