Last Thursday I discovered a new game to play with my high school students.
It’s seriously like Kahoot on steroids. My students love it. Gimkit, created by Josh Feinsilber, plays like a Kahoot game, but students earn money for answering questions correctly, lots of it if they are good at it.
Josh is a junior at a Seattle high school that encourages projects and internship as school work. He began thinking about this game in April 2017 and launched at the end of October 2017 after doing research on what teachers did not like about Kahoot. Don’t get me wrong, my students and I love Kahoot and will keep playing it, but Gimkit adds a lot of extra spice to playing games in the classroom.
What I loved at first sight about Gimkit was the ease of setting it up. I discovered the site last Thursday morning at 6:00 am and was able to play the first round with my students when they came to class at 8:00 am. The teacher simply creates an account, sets up groups, then creates a “kit.” One can create the questions and answers from scratch, use a Quizlet set or import a CVS file. The entire process takes mere seconds. As a teacher who has presented 34 teacher PDs in the last few years, I will say that the creator of this game has done his research on how to guide teachers step by step through the process of setting up a game. Gimkit uses a very large font size which helps teachers avoid misspellings, for example. The groups can be edited very easily from the dashboard. The basic version allows for three kits, plenty to get a good idea of how Gimkit works.
In order to play Gimkit, teachers select their kit on the dashboard, choose play, make sure they open the correct group, then post the game code on the board. Students join the game and begin playing independently of each other when the teacher starts the game. One can set a time limit or set a fixed amount of money that students are to earn. When I played our Chapter 7 Review Vocabulary with my students, we set the limit to ten minutes and students earned money as their names were displayed on the leaderboard. One of my students earned an amazing $38,000,000 in ten minutes.
In my continuing quest to find awesome classroom tools to engage and inspire my students, Gimkit is not only an example of an outstanding formative assessment tool, but also serves as a wonderful example of what our high school students are capable of creating. My students are now fully inspired to create their own games next school year.