So Kahoot Exists…

Everyone seems to know about Socrative and a few other tools to help quiz students in “new and exciting ways.” Recently I have had quite a hoot with Kahoot, and yes I realize that phrasing was bad. It makes quick quizzing and review a lot more fun, and I actually mean fun. While it sticks to traditional multiple choice answers, it’s also colorful and kind of exciting.

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Students use their smart devices like their own phones, tablets, or laptops if they have them, and follow along with the main screen in the classroom. Students would be able to use their personal devices if schools don’t provide smart devices for them, or a computer lab could be utilized.

You can start a quiz, a discussion, or a survey super fast. The setup time is only as long as you take to type in your questions and then Kahoot is ready to go. For now lets just talk about the quizzes, my favorite part. You type in your questions, add an image or video if it’s necessary, and then type in some possible answers. As far as setup goes that’s all there is to it. When it’s time to start the quiz you open it up on the projector or whatever large screen is available in the classroom, students pull out their smart devices and go to kahoot.it. On the screen there is a PIN that students type in to their devices and they join in. Students not only get points for the correct answer but for how fast they answer. It makes the quiz competitive and I’ve seen students get super into earning more points than their friends about a book that they read.

Survey and discussion both work a bit differently.  Survey is similar to the quiz but doesn’t assign points. Discussion allows for free response, and the best part is these responses appear on the screen. So you could ask a question like, “What do you think will happen next?” when reading through a novel together. Students can see each others thoughts and as a class you can discuss the classes thoughts without having to pull those thoughts out of them.

Kahoot isn’t doing much new, but it brings together elements that have been done and adds some fun to them. A competitive element to a quiz makes it more fun and gets students more engaged. On top of that it’s way more colorful than any tool I’ve seen like it.

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Photo Editing

I started playing around with some photo editing tools recently and discovered it’s pretty easy to make adjustments that can really change the feel of an image. I started with an image drawn of one of my favorite video game characters, the Skull Kid from Majora’s Mask. The image was actually bright and depicted a sort of mythical moment. Not to knock the artist, who actually did an amazing job, but it’s not exactly how I pictured the moment depicted.skull-kid

I decided to try to make it a bit more of a tense and dark scene with just some basic editing using Aviary, a free tool available to anyone directly in your browser. I rotated the image and zoomed in, increased the contrast, lowered the brightness, adjusted the focus, and brushed away some of the white flurries floating around. I didn’t fundamentally change the image at all, but I feel like there’s a darker presence in the image now.

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It would be so easy to make edits like this to any image at all. Say you need an image of a creepy looking house, but the only one’s that you like are run down houses with images taken during the day. It’s so easy to just make a few edits and voila, you’ve got your creepy house you needed.