Several digital tools created for the classroom bring exciting "game show like" experiences to students with learning as the focus. I have promoted Kahoot and Quizizz in the past, but there are many others!
Here are a few of my "go to's", along with pros, cons, and what makes each different:
Cons: Your score is based on your reaction time from seeing the question (often displayed on the projector screen) and answering on your device. If the device you’re answering on takes too long to load, you may know the answer but can’t answer it (often because of slow or overloaded Internet) and you’re left in the dust. Some teachers say they don’t like that you can’t see the answers on the device you use to answer (i.e. student laptop or tablet), but my students never complain about that.
What makes it different: Ghost mode. It makes the same game different the second time you play it. (Or third. Or fourth.) Kahoot! remembers how each student scored on each question, and when you play ghost mode, it displays former attempts as “ghosts”. Students can compare their current attempt to previous attempts to see how they’ve progressed. (If your students have played Mario Kart or another racing video game and have raced against their personal best, they’re familiar with racing against a ghost.)
Cons: Quizizz is definitely fun. But when everyone is answering different questions at different times, you lose a bit of the excitement. With Kahoot!, when my class answers one question all together, it isolates that piece of content so we can all talk about it. However, when a Quizizz game is over, you can review all the questions all at once.
What makes it different: Memes. These pictures with fun/funny messages are a treat. They’re displayed after a question is answered to show whether it’s right or wrong. Quizizz even lets you create your own. You can use their pre-loaded images or upload your own.
Cons: You need at least six students to play a game (at least two teams of three students). If you’re looking for something more individual to play as a group, Quizlet Live may not be your game.
What makes it different: True team play. It’s a different model of review game when many of these game show-style games feel the same.
Cons: It lacks some of the flash and fun of the other platforms. Quizalize hasn’t been around as long, so the database of pre-built Quizalize games won’t be as deep and robust. The option to offer your Quizalize games for a fee to others isn’t ideal to cash-strapped teachers.
What makes it different: Data on student performance. Quizalize really excels here. You can create tags for questions (i.e. subtopics to distinguish questions from each other) and sort student results by subtopic. You can also see which subtopics and questions were hardest for students. Student results can also be sorted by “stronger,” “almost there” and “weaker”. If you want to use a game show-style game to generate student performance data and offer extra help to struggling students, Quizalize is the choice for you.