Tuesday, July 3, 2018

The Kahoot! BootCoin

The Kahoot! BootCoin
Think BitCoin but more FUN!


I raved about Kahoot in an earlier post HERE, that Kahoot is the ultimate “Gateway Tech” for classroom teachers. Even the most wary of the bunch can see, when used correctly, the power of gamifying the classroom through competition. Because Kahoot is so easy to use and enticing for teachers I saw a problem begin to emerge… Kahoot resistance.  Now I use resistance here in a few different ways, but all lead to the same problem. You see, in my school I felt like the Scientist Sir Alexander Fleming and his discovery of Penicillin. Penicillin become the wonder cure of its day. The simple introduction of this wonder drug helped to save lives and cured diseases once thought incurable with almost instant results. It became the ultimate weapon against human ailments. My Discovery of Kahoot all those years ago, felt the same way. The simple introduction of Kahoot, helped me cure the diseases of normality in the classroom. It allowed Teachers the ease of implementation and helped teachers see near instant results of student understanding in the classroom. Kahoot started a revolution at our school… and then the resistance emerged.


Penicillin was seen as a cure all for all ailments. So much so that it started to become overused. The drug constant usage in hospitals and prescriptions lead rise to a resistance of the cure, it gave rise to superbugs. In school Kahoot started to run into the same problems. Because of its ease of use, it was being “prescribed” everyday, in every class. This constant use and the students constant exposure to it began to create a resistance in the students, it started to lose its desired effect in the classroom. Students began to say “Kahoot Again?” or “Let’s see how long we can make this game go.” Kahoot targeted programs also began to emerge, such as Kahoot Smasher, Kahoot Hack, and Kahoot Spam. With all these problems roaring their ugly head, I had to ask myself “Is Kahoot Dead?”. I refused to believe it. I would not let my discovery diminish. I couldn’t change the game, but maybe I could change the way the game was played.


From this Kahoot resistance, I envisioned a new kind of game play. One in which I could build upon the competitive nature of my students. One in which students could physically play a part in their success within the game. To bring Kahoot back to its glory, I introduced:
The Kahoot! BootCoin


What is the Kahoot Boot coin? How do you use it? How… Ok Let me explain. The Kahoot Boot game feature is like a wild card during the game. As the students play and compete they may just be a few seconds slower than other students or they may have accidentally clicked the wrong button and selected the wrong answer moving them down the leaderboard. To put them back on top they can play their “Kahoot BootCoin”. When this coin is played I, the teacher, must Boot out the student who is in first place. Now this at first may appear to be mean spirited, but the student getting the boot may choose to play one of their coins to nullify the one being played. This extra competition in the game helped me to re-gamify Kahoot for my students, and bring back the joy of Getting their Kahoot on!


How do the students earn a BootCoin? Well just like the early days of BitCoin, where I gained inspiration for the BootCoin, they have to “mine” or work for it. One way is to win a Classic or Challenge Kahoot game. If you end up on top you earn a BootCoin for use in a future game. To make sure all students have a chance to compete I have many challenge games going on at once, at varying levels of difficulty. Students can also earn a BootCoin by helping another student in class, portraying a random act of kindness on campus, or going above and beyond in a classroom project or presentation. I have not even scratched the surface of all the varying ways students could earn a BootCoin. The coin was designed in TinkerCad, so when I need more, all I do is 3D print more on my trusty MakerBot.


By turning to the BootCoin, the resistance faded and a new era of gameplay emerged in my class. Students began to strategize when, how and if they should play a coin. Students discussed when was the best time to create a coin. Students began to form alliances, which were consistently broken, in order to gain more BootCoin. At one point students talked about selling BootCoin, but i absolutely put a stop to that before it started. Because of this new addition to Kahoot, nore students were willing to help each other in class, stay after to get extra help for understanding, and be overly kind to others outside the classroom. Only time will tell if this new addition will stay immune to resistance, but in the meantime I am enjoying this new currency for learning.  

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