Differentiating with Tech Games

There’s a bunch of great education technology games out there. They offer fun opportunities for students to practice skills. Kids love the fun competition these games provide and teachers love the engaging activity.

But did you know these games can be an easy way to differentiate your class?

Let’s get specific here. Many of us are familiar with Kahoot!, but there are others that offer different features; Quizizz, Quizlet, Gimkit, Blooket, just to name a few. And many of these have various game play modes. A combination and rotation of these different games keeps students from becoming complacent with the format.

All of these formats offer teachers the opportunity to play as a whole class (synchronous) or individually (asynchronous). It’s the asynchronous feature that allows us to differentiate.

Have a few students who always finish early? Assign them a Blooket or Quizizz with extension questions on Google Classroom. When they finish early, they can log on and play with a set of problems that can push their thinking and deepen their understanding of the topic. They will still see a leaderboard with the other students you’ve assigned that game to so there’s still the fun competition aspect of the game.

Have a few students who need extra practice with a skill? Assign them one of these games for extra practice. You can allow them to use their notes or even work together in small groups to solve those problems and get extra practice.

It’s fairly easy to take a game and modify it up or down by adding or deleting questions. Just make copies of the original game. If you find a set, or create a set, that is leveled for your “on track” learners, you can add more challenging questions for your advanced learners. For those who need remediation, delete questions or answer choices.

These games can even be scaffolded when you play them as a whole class. Some learners could be allowed to use their notes while they play. Other groups could be allowed to play with a partner (one computer, 2 students). Some could even be allowed to play in a larger group or with teacher support. Or, when the rest of the class is engaged in a game, teachers can pull a small group for extra instruction.

Summer time is a great time to play with these different games. All offer free versions, or paid versions with extra features. All offer great data to further inform differentiation for the next day. If trying all at once is overwhelming, just pick one to start with. They’re all easy to use, and offer question banks from other teachers, or you can add your own questions. Why not give it a try?

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