Friday, January 15, 2016

4 Free Tools for Creating & Playing Interactive Quiz Games

Earlier this week I wrote about "ghost mode" being the talk of the Future of Educational Technology Conference in Orlando. That post prompted a few people to ask me about other quiz game platforms. I've used a bunch of them over the years. The following are interactive quiz game tools that I've used with great success in my classroom and or in my workshops.

This is the obvious one to include in this post as it did inspire the post. Kahoot provides a fun way to gather feedback from a group through their phones, iPads, Chromebooks, or any other device that has a web browser and an Internet connection. You can include pictures and or videos as part of each question that you create and share in a Kahoot activity. Players are awarded points for answering correctly and quickly. Or you can turn off the points system to use Kahoot in a non-competitive environment.

Socrative Space Race:
Socrative is a free student response system that allows you to gather feedback from students through any Internet-connected device. One of my favorite aspects of Socrative is the variety of ways in which you can pose prompts and questions to your students. The Space Race feature has been a hit everywhere that I've shown it over the years. The Space Race feature allows you to create virtual teams for answering questions or prompts. The screen students see masks  their classmates' names, but as the teacher you can see your students' names and download a report of students' responses.

Quizalize is a free quiz game platform. Students play your quiz games on their laptops or tablets by going to the Quizalize website then entering their names and a class code. Students are awarded points for correctly answering questions quickly. Students are given feedback instantly on every quiz question that they answer. A total score is presented to students at the end of every quiz. Creating quizzes on Quizalize is a simple process. To get started just name your quiz and tag it with a subject label. As you write each quiz question you can include a picture and up to four answer choices. You can specify a time limit of 5 to 120 seconds for each question. Quizalize offers a marketplace in which you can find quizzes created by other users. Some of the quizzes are free and others are sold for a dollar or two. To be clear, creating and playing your own quizzes is completely free.

Triventy uses a concept that is similar to Kahoot. To play a Triventy quiz game the teacher projects the game questions at the front of the room and students answer the questions on their mobile devices or laptops. Points are awarded for answering correctly. Bonus points are awarded for answering quickly. Students join the quiz game by going to and entering the game pin assigned to your game.

Skype Translator Is Now Available to All Windows Users

Last spring Microsoft made a preview edition of Skype's translation tool available to Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 users. The limitation of the preview edition was that all parties in the call had to install the preview edition. This week Microsoft announced that Skype Translator is now a native part of Skype for Windows. This means that anyone using Skype on a Windows computer will be able to utilize Translator.

Skype Translator will automatically transcribe and translate as you talk. At this time Translator supports Chinese Mandarin, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. In instant text Skype messaging Translator supports 50 languages.

To use Skype Translator in Windows simply open Skype as usual then click the globe icon in the upper, right corner of the app. If the globe icon isn't visible, make sure you have updated to the latest version of the app.
Image courtesy of Microsoft PR. 
Applications for Education
As demonstrated in the video embedded below, the realtime translation option in Skype will open up more possibilities for connecting classrooms through activities like Mystery Skype.

Try PrepFactory for Free SAT & ACT Review

SAT and ACT testing and test prep isn't something that any student or teacher really looks forward to, but it's a something that most in the U.S. have to do at some point. PrepFactory is a free service that helps students prepare for those tests .PrepFactory offers students a series of tutorial videos and written tips to help them prepare for both tests. After completing a tutorial students can test themselves in a series of practice questions. Each question set is timed and and limited to chunks of ten questions at a time. Students can earn badges for completing tutorials or question sets. In the video embedded below I provide an overview of PrepFactory's features.

Disclosure: PrepFactory is an advertiser on

Numberock - Math Music Videos for Kids

Last month I shared ten good YouTube channels for math students. This week I learned about about another good math video channel. Numberock is a YouTube channel that features quick music videos that teach and or reinforce elementary school math lessons. The videos were developed by an elementary teacher for elementary students. Take a look at some of the videos as embedded below.

Applications for Education
When I was in the fourth and fifth grades my teachers would play records of people singing multiplication tables. They would play those records while were coming in from recess or coming into school start the day. I thought the records were annoying, but to this day I still hear those multiplication tables being sung to us. Music videos like Numberock won't replace a lesson, but they could certainly help reinforce a lesson.