Until now, I have been using Socrative for this type of gamification in my classroom. I am forever indebted to my colleague, Amy Coffsky for showing me its uses. Three cheers for PLNs! The minor tweaking of turning a review session into a mild competition engages the students in a way they had not been interested before. So at EdCamp this weekend, I attended a Kahoot session to get a feel for what the students experience. I don't like what happened.
1) My blood pressure rose as my competitive nature kicked in. Even the music is designed to incite a sense of urgency. This means that students who process information more slowly can never be in the lead. It doesn't mean they don't know the information. It means their strengths are not in processing speed and eye-hand coordination.
2) I had a hard time distinguishing the words against light colors on the Smart Board being used. The teacher leading the session acknowledged that she couldn't see them either, and that in her classroom she does not have this issue. Without being able to read the words, you cannot answer the questions. I knew the answers, but couldn't find the correct location through no fault of my own. This dropped my score because the fastest person responding gets more points. That leads to another inequity:
3) Whoever has the fastest connection wins. At times, my screen was slow to load. That cost me points. It also made me angry. I heard several other participants murmuring, "That's not fair!"
It is true that life isn't fair. In the classroom, however, and especially in this situation, the playing field should be level. The only differentiation between students should be who picks the correct answer. Should those with color blindness be penalized? Of course not! But in this program, they would be. What if they choose to use their personal computers with a different wireless connection speed than the ones I have in my classroom? Again, they're at a disadvantage before even reading the first question! Sorry Kahoot, I'm staying with Socrative.