Monday, October 22, 2018

GimKit

After hearing much about this and reading about it on social media, I decided to try out GimKit last week, and wow, I am now a believer! It did not disappoint! GimKit is an online digital assessment tool much like Quizizz, but it has so many different upgrades and power-ups for students to use while they are playing this game. GimKit was created by students for students, so because of this, there is so much in this game which students find engaging.

The basic set up is like Quizizz in that students answer multiple choice questions asynchronously on their devices/computers at their own pace and receive "money" for correct answers, with the goal of having the most "money" at the end of the game. Students can play individually or on teams - if you put students in teams, they will still answer individually instead of collaboratively, but the "money" which they earn goes towards the team total. However, GimKit has some big differences which add to the fun:
  • Upgrades/Powerups - As students/teams gain "money," they can buy upgrades and powerups, such as increasing dollar values for correct answers, increasing question multipliers, insurance for incorrect answers, and removing two incorrect answers from the choices. In addition, however, they can also purchase powerups such as removing 20% from a team's total, reducing another's earnings by 50% for a minute, and increasing a bonus for a single question. 
  • Length of game - Instead of the game ending after all questions have been asked, the length of the game is determined by time or by total class earnings. As a result, questions are on a continuous loop.
  • Leaderboard - Because the leaderboard can be projected onto the screen, teams are always aware of where they stand, hence they know whom to "attack" with powerups.
  • The only way to earn money is to spend it in this game!
Pros:
  • The game is SO enaging for students once they understand how upgrades and powerups work. This is what makes students want to continue playing the game.
  • Because questions are asked asynchronously like Quizizz, students can proceed at their own pace. Where Kahoot is a game of speed where the fast processors benefit, GimKit allows for the slower processors to answer at their own speed but still contribute to the team.
  • Because questions are on a continuous loop, this allows for lots of repetitions.
  • You can easily import questions from an already existing Quizlet Live set or from a CSV form. 
  • You can enter in student names ahead of time to prevent "naught nicknames".
  • Like Kahoot and Quizizz, you can share your "kits" with other teachers and can assign it to students.
Cons
  • Like Quizizz, the only feedback which students receive for incorrect answers is the correct answer itself. Unlike Kahoot which is synchronous in nature where the teacher can review reasons for incorrect answers communally with the class before moving on to the next question, students do not receive any feedback as to why they answered incorrectly in GimKit.
  • Because the game length is based on time or the class combined-totals,and because the questions are on a continuous loop, if you do not have enough questions, it can get boring for students. I have found that 75-100 questions for 10 minutes is a good amount.
  • Pricing - There is a free version which you can use, but one can only create 5 kits, with 1 edit per kit. The pay version is $7.99 for a monthly pay-as-you-go, or one can pay $59.88 for a year. There is a discounted school/district price.
I was surprised at how engaged students were when playing GimKit. Although students were in teams but not sitting by each other, it was fun for me to hear students yell out, "Who just spent $3,000?!!" and "The Blue Team just attacked us - someone buy a Powerup to attack them and a Shield to protect us?" My students have asked to play this game again, but in order to prevent the novelty, I will only play 2-3 times a semester at the most.

Here are some "kits" which I have made on GimKit (you need to be logged in to play) so you can see how it is played - one is a Latin review of 4 Roman festivals, and the other is a pure vocabulary review.

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