This week we asked students to select the apps they most often use from a list and allowed them to pick their top three. Over 700 students responded (a big improvement over last week—THANK YOU), but overwhelmingly responses came from Armstrong, V.I.D.A. and Rancho Minerva, in that order. Here are the results.
At those three schools, the hands-down winner for most used app by reporting students was Google Drive, which makes complete sense. This is the means students clearly use to store and transfer files and to write and communicate; they can’t get along without it. Notability, a note-taking app, was the third most often selected. Again, no real surprise that a good note-taking application is in use in classrooms.
However, there was an unexpected bump in the data. For data geeks, like us, the unexpected is often the most fun, and in this case, “fun” may have been at the very heart of that bump. Three hundred and fifty-nine students—just over half of those reporting— selected Kahoot!, a gaming program that claims to change classrooms into game shows and guarantees 100% student engagement. This number of respondents suggests that there are one or two classes at Armstrong, V.I.D.A. and Minerva experimenting with this approach—and it turns out from later conversation, Chute Middle School as well.
That’s about all we can say from the Fast Fact perspective, but this “bump” points to an important reason we send you and your students the weekly questions. Fast Facts can show blips that are interesting and worthy of deeper exploration early on. We’d love to know for which subjects Kahoot! is being used and students’ reactions to it, for example. Maybe some of our enterprising DP Storytellers can track this down and/or produce some short videos on learning games in use in our schools. And, this is also a good topic for Research-in-Practice to investigate—sharing syntheses of important articles and opening a blog on the topic.
It turns out that our Storyteller at Chute was way ahead of us and this video was already in the “can,” so to speak. Enjoy 1, 2, 3 Kahoot!!! Studying with the iPads.
If you are thinking about using learning games in your classes, you might consider the kinds of learning skills they exercise. Does a game successfully engage kids in a lower level skill like recall but develop automaticity—students’ abilities to draw on basic facts or skills quickly and accurately? Or does a game call for higher order skill practice like requiring students to collaborate and synthesize what they have learned previously in order to solve an unfamiliar problem in a novel way? Or might the game actually engage students in simulations of global issues and require cooperation with other students to find creative solutions?
If you are interested in finding out more about learning games, here’s a great place to begin: Playing Games In School, provided by EdSurge.