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Kahoot! Academy’s teacher of the week shares how he connects students with peers around the world

My name is Steve Auslander, and I’m a Verified educator on Kahoot! Academy, Kahoot! Ambassador, and 5th grade teacher. Discover what brings me the most joy about teaching, and read my 5 tips on making learning awesome for your students.

August 6, 2020

I believe that any teacher’s mission is to make learning awesome for their students, no matter what. Whether you’ll be teaching remotely or in person in the upcoming school year, I hope that my best practices and tips will inspire you to step outside your comfort zone and get even more creative when it comes to engaging students. Let’s go!

1. Connect your students with other kids from around the world!
I love connecting my kids with peers and adults from different backgrounds, cultures, and religions – and students love it, too! Through these activities, they can see that even though we’re different, we’re more alike than we realize. Playing learning games together, such as connected kahoots and Mystery Skype, livens up classes and allows students to practice content with peers from other schools and countries. It shows kids that the material they are learning is relevant, since others all around the world are learning the same thing.

2. Use Kahoot! slides to spice up textbook work.
I try to make learning engaging, real, and fun for my students by using Kahoot! slides to cover content from the textbook. You can combine Kahoot! slides with your quiz questions, and there’s no timer on slides. Instead of having students answer a question in the kahoot, a slide might say “read pages 11 and 12 and look for the text features.” When I combine slides with kahoot questions, it breaks up reading material into little chunks, creates great discussion, and makes learning more fun.

What gives me the most joy in teaching is that I get to be creative every day. Yes, it’s a crazy time right now, but we can use this opportunity to get creative with the technology we have available.

Steve Auslander

3. You are limited only by your imagination.
What gives me the most joy in teaching is that I get to be creative every day. Yes, it’s a crazy time right now, but we can use this opportunity to get creative with the technology we have available. I create math parody songs to pop music to teach math concepts, I created the Kahoot Cup where classes from over 30 countries gathered over multiple time slots to play a connected kahoot about pop culture, and I created an event called Dreidelympics where kids played games with classes from all around the world. The sky’s the limit!

4. Build positive, real relationships with your students.
When we had to switch to distance learning, I knew my students felt isolated, so I created an event called Family Kahoot Friday (#FamilyKahootFriday). Every Friday, families would gather together to play connected kahoots with other families from around the world. I wanted this event to focus on connecting families to learn more about my students and get families playing together.

When you try something new, admit vulnerability and get buy-in from your students by asking them for help - they will be excited to help you and try something different with you.

Steve Auslander

5. Give yourself some grace. It’s not going to be perfect.
Being a teacher in ordinary circumstances is already a hard enough job, so when you add a sudden switch to distance learning, blended learning, and a whole new way of teaching, you have an even more challenging job. Know that distance learning has not been easy for anyone, so give yourself some grace. Know that when you try new things, you have no idea the outcome – that’s okay. When you try something new, admit vulnerability and get buy-in from your students by asking them for help – they will be excited to help you and try something different with you.

Check out my Verified profile on Kahoot! Academy to find my kahoots on math, the American Revolution, geography, #FamilyKahootFriday, and more!

Throughout the summer, Kahoot! Academy is featuring ideas and advice from educators around the world who are passionate about sharing what they know.
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Verified publishing rights on Kahoot! Academy will be offered as a part of Kahoot! Premium+ for schools and higher education, from $6/user/month until September 30 (usual price $9/user/month). For those who come to Kahoot! Academy to explore and seek new knowledge, Kahoot! Academy will, of course, be free.

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