Thursday, January 23, 2014

When Something Just Works

Don't you love it? When something just works? You throw it out there, put out a feeler, and find something that really hits the spot.

I love it.

Each week for my staff, I send out a few "Tech Bites"...bite sized tech tools or tips that can be implemented with relative ease. While the tools themselves don't impact instruction, the thoughtful and creative ways that teachers enhance, evolve, and sometimes even transform the work that kids do because of those tools has a huge impact on learning.

Quite a while ago, I added a Kahoot screencast I created to our Tech Bites for the week. I learned about Kahoot at EdCampMSP from Ryan Cox, the Director of Instructional Technology for Becker Public Schools. One of our science teachers opted to give it a shot with her class to review content. Shortly after, the rest of the science department latched on.

Fast forward a bit, and the uses for Kahoot have evolved...seeing how easy they are to create, teachers began to turn the creation over to kids. Proficient students found it to be an incredibly meaningful extension to create their own quizzes, while struggling students could use the quizzes to practice and review content in a new and interesting way. I mentioned the tool during a PD day, and the usage has deepened.

There's nothing "Be all, end all" about Kahoot. It's a fairly simple tool, but when used thoughtfully, engages every single kid in the room while deepening and strengthening content knowledge. Further along, and kids are using, creating, and sharing with one another.

It's a story that's been told before. It's not a big story, nor does it mean a whole lot. But it speaks to adaptation, and sharing, and growth among teachers...

...and that's a story I never get sick of telling.


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