blooket play
blooket play

The Buzz around Blooket ! blooket play

When I first started teaching Kahoot was the big buzz amongst students. As a computing teacher we were fortunate to have frequent access to computers, which also meant frequent pleas of Kahoot. However, years later it’s not Kahoot that I’m hearing. Instead it’s all about Blooket!

What is Blooket? 

Similar to Kahoot, blooket poses multiple choice questions to students. However, there are a range of modes that can be selected to really add a gamified experience. A favourite of mine is to use the hack mode as I try to reinforce some key terminology here, whilst waiting for students to join the game. Some versions can be played live (whilst in class) and others can be set for homework or self taught mode. 

Blooket is free with limited futures. For unlimited it’s about $35 a year. Personally, I think this is worth it but why?

Why Blooket?

The students genuinely get excited when it’s blooket time (for KS4 this is 10 minutes at the end of Friday for Friday fun) and for KS3 I try to host one every other week. This can be a great behaviour management / motivation tool (or for the cynics, bribary). As well as following the typical school behaviour policy, I set a class strike policy. If multiple students are taking too long to settle, off task, completing work slowly etc. I might give a class strike. blooket play If three class strikes are given then Blooket doesn’t go on. I have only had to employ this once but the behaviour difference after the second class strike really is quite astonishing. Students soon start regulating themselves or reminding each other ‘not to risk the blooket’!

The different modes can keep it interesting and it’s easy to create own questions or search for others that already exist. I have noted a real improvement in students vocabulary and confidence with using this. One of my nurture groups particularly made great progress over the half term, with a teaching assistant telling me how much the game was impacting them. We could hear students in class reading out why a question was wrong or trying to sabotage each other with students then defending their own answers. E.g. put word processor!, “no that can’t be the input as it needs to be hardware and we can’t touch it!”. 

Blooket produces a report at the end and leaderboard so you can assess accuracy and find common misconceptions from the class which can then help inform future planning.

Some lessons learnt:

Although I think this is a valuable part of my lessons now, there are some mistakes that I initially made which I have learnt from and will now share: 

– experiment with the modes. Some of the modes (e.g. gold mine) can be heavily influenced by luck, arguably too much. This can demotivate students. Again hack mode is my favourite and classic, which is like Kahoot is also useful. 

– set clear rules with nicknames. My advice is to just set students with the rule that they have to use their name. This stops silly behaviour or inappropriate names. I told my students that those that didn’t do it properly couldn’t play. As they tend to enjoy participating so much, I don’t tend to have any issues with this. 

– set expectations for class work prior to Blooket and after. Some students would claim they felt unwell, be distracted by friends, struggle to focus and insert any other excuse to not produce much work, but then when it comes to Blooket is the most focused, competetive player in the room. So, setting a minimum success criteria for blooket to start became a successful lesson. 

Similarly, I started to notice that some students would not read the questions properly and instead just kept guessing random choices because they were so desperate to have the opportunity to hack others. So, I decided to set a minimum % expectation. Sometimes I would be flexible if I felt that students worked hard but just fell below, but the progress and increase in % of accuracy since the implementation of this rule became very obvious. 

Once the blooket is set, there is little need for teacher input. This is great for quickly doing some admin – the one to one chats needed, or logging homework/housepoints etc. But once that’s done it’s very useful to circulate and prompt students or listen to their reasoning. 

The reports are very helpful at giving insight into which students may be struggling. Although, it may not be the most accurate of data it can certainly shine some light on some quiet students that you may otherwise not be on your radar so soon. 

Be careful with the language. Students need to appreciate it is a form of assessment or questionning rather than just playing a game. Otherwise, there’s a risk of students telling other teachers can we play the game we play in computing, miss can we play the game we always play! I once had a support staff come speak to me as a student was upset to miss my lesson for another commitment as they really wanted to play the game and I found myself feeling obliged to reassure her that the game was in fact a useful questionning tool.

Also be prepared for just how passionate students can get with Blooket. Whilst it can work as a behaviour management tool, there can also be some behaviour mangement needed as some students can be very loud when they successfully hack or become hacked. I’ve also had several students create their own blookets and compete as homeworks, ask for more homeworks and once when observing a potential teacher candidate I found students playing a blooket at the back of the classroom that they had created. So clear expectations really are key! 

Now, it may sound like I have some affiliation with Blooket due to my enthusiasm over the site. Alas, I do not! However, it really was a powerful tool in me winning over some students at a new school and inspiring some passion and love for computing back in the classroom. The progress they were making from the key words and the increased focus in classwork to get on to the blooket inevitably helps success overall. Students rated computing fairly highly in student panels/surveys with blooket being a common reason! For ten minutes, there is such a big impact. 

If you have any other expeirences with blooket, or any tips learnt I would love to hear them too.

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