blog post written by Arianne Dowd

Who does not love new exciting technology tools to engage and excite your students? Kristy Placido had some great tips and tricks to spice up your tech toolkit. She reviewed several tech tools with us and showed us how she uses them.

1. Quizlet:

Most people have used Quizlet for vocabulary identification or for Quizlet Live but Kristy has some new uses for it that you may not have tried out. For example, Kristy says paying for the teacher upgrade is worth it. It lets students choose their own teams. A great use for Quizlet is reading comprehension activities instead of word identification. A feature I hope to play with soon is the diagrams feature. Kristy gave us these steps to create a Quizlet with diagrams:

In order to make the diagrams, Kristy puts images in PowerPoint or Google Slides and saves the images. The terms are descriptions of the images. She leaves the definition part blank because the definition is the image.

Another great idea Kristy revealed was making an extra (free) account for your substitutes. That way, you can leave the log in for the sub and assign Quizlet to students so they can practice.

Tip: If Kristy has a student who is a very fast processor, she might challenge them by putting them in the hallway so they can not give all the answers to their team. This is not done in a punitive way, but rather as a way of leveling the playing field!

krpl 2

Kristy Placido

2. Gimkit:

I have been playing with Gimkit for last year and a half and my students love it! None of their other teachers are using it, so it still has the effect of novelty in my classroom. Although I pay for Gimkit, it is free but you only can get 5 games for free. What makes Gimkit unique is that it was started by high school students. They come up with different themes for their games. For example on Valentine’s Day, students can use the money to play a love song. Or they had Thanos Mode during the week the Infinity Wars movie was released.

It is almost like a gambling experience. As you get questions correct you earn money. When you earn money, you can buy things like power-ups such as icing someone so they can not play for a certain amount of seconds.

Tips:  A fun variation is if everyone has the same username so no one knows who is behind the power-ups.

  • You can import quizlet to gimkit. It generates multiple choice qs for you that you can edit.
  • With a paid version of Gimkit you can set up a class and students can only choose their own names so they have no option to create fake names!

3. Goosechase

This is one of my favorites!! It is a scavenger hunt app that is free for up to 5 teams at a time. If you really like it you can pay $49 per year to have 10 teams a year. They Students play with their own personal devices. Only one student per team can download the app. During the scavenger hunt, they can write text, take pictures or video that correspond with clues or missions the teacher creates. Sharon Birch has an excellent blog post about it! She inspired a lot of ideas for missions that worked wonderfully in my classroom. Kristy explained that the teacher has a dashboard in order to see team progress of pictures and videos they upload as they play.

Tips: 

Use Goosechase with the study of a Comprehension-based™ Reader! Give clues from readers and students can illustrate them.

Students can create a video of a TPR of what you post. Kristy’s example was “jump 3 times on one foot and run in place.” Students read the text and then take a video of team members doing that action. The possibilities are endless with Goosechase!

4. Edpuzzle is a free service for all at every level

Kristy integrates a Youtube video, or uploads a video she downloaded from the internet.

With Edpuzzle you can even insert your own voice as a comment and hear the teacher asks a question. Students can answer questions in multiple choice format or type them out.

Kristy showed us how she combined Storyboard That with Edpuzzle!  Here is a blog post where she explains it depth it you are intrigued and would like to learn more. These are some examples she shared:  Mi vida loca and Noches misteriosas en Granada Chapter 2.

5. Kahoot is a multiple choice trivia game

Kristy’s tip on how to make Kahoot more novel to her students is by using student drawings as her images. First students drew descriptions to match scenes of the book. Next she took these pictures of these images and used them to make a Quizlet diagram or in her Kahoot.

To insert your images into Kahoot, first you take pictures of student. Insert 4 different student drawings in ppt or google slides and save them as a jpeg.  Then upload them to Kahoot. Kristy describes the slides orally to her class and students must hit the correct option. One tip Kristy says is to be sure not to randomize questions or answers for this Kahoot or it will not work.

Randomize questions or answers for this Kahoot or it will be really messed up! Do you want to learn more about Kristy’s fantastic idea? Here is a blog post she wrote about it:  bit.ly/RoboBlog

Tips: 

If student images are not clear, Kristy adds clip art such as a knife, or other important images that are not visible in the drawing to help students decipher the correct answer.

A fun twist to Kahoot is to use ghost mode. This allows students to play again and they compete against themselves. The objective is to be faster than they were the first time. Can’t wait to give it a try!

6. FlipGrid:

Another completely FREE online tool! Kristy uses it to record short pair or group conversation such as respond to a photo, story retells, paper doll skits or reader’s theater! It is also great to create a portfolio for student speaking as well as evaluate student proficiency.

FlipGrid is a fun way to collaborate. Not only can students communicate asynchronously and collaborate globally but teachers can too!  Check our this link to see what tech tips teachers are sharing!  flipgrid.com/placido

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