This is the 15th post in a series on using iPads in the language classroom. Click here to view an index of previous posts. In this post, I will talk about ways to use Quizlet live with shared devices (big surprise, considering that was the title).
I first heard about Quizlet Live earlier this year when it started popping up in blog posts. In particular, Kristy Placido's Establishing meaning with Quizlet Live gave me a lot of helpful information. The game is kind of hard to explain. Basically, it takes any Quizlet vocab list and turns it into a game. Students break into teams (assigned at random) and they see a vocab word on their screen and several possible definitions. The thing is, every team member has different answers to choose from, but they all have the right answer. Through working together and process of elimination, someone in the group has to choose an answer in order to move on. If they get it right, the group advances. If they get it wrong, they reset at zero. The first group to get them all right consecutively wins.
Each team gets an animal name. I really like how the game makes students restart when they get a question wrong. Not because I'm mean, but because it doesn't allow a team to win until they have truly learned all the words, and it keeps the stakes high throughout the whole game.
We are not a 1:1 classroom. We currently have 20 iPads in our department, and classes have about 26-30 students, so some students share. The first time I played Quizlet live was with a small class of 20 last year. Everyone got their own iPad, so it was easy to test. I actually did it on a whim because this particular class often accomplished tasks early and we had some leftover time. The great thing about Quizlet Live is that there is no prep required, other than making the list. You can take an existing list you have or make up a new one. The game went over really well. I then tried it again with a small group of students in the Summer Skills class I teach. Once again, the students really enjoyed it.
When fall rolled around, I knew I wanted to play the game again but struggled with how it would work with a large class. The game does not allow the teacher to dictate how many teams there will be, or how many students are on a team, which would really help. You are sort of at the mercy of the game. What I did was have 20 students sign in and join the game while the remaining students stood by. Once the teams were assigned, I had the students with iPads break into teams. I then, one by one, assigned the remaining students to teams myself. I then informed the students that the iPads they had in their group were to be shared and didn't belong to any one person. There were usually one to two more people than there were iPads. Within the groups, students can even huddle around iPads in twos, checking with each other as needed. This set up is not ideal, but ultimately it works.
I'm not a big fan of translating, but I have softened a bit on it in the last few years. Especially for terms that are too abstract to be illustrated visually, translation helps solidify meaning for students. Kristy's post (cited above) gave me the idea to use the game to introduce new vocabulary. I made up a list of some previously used terms and a few new ones, and I told the students to guess if they didn't know. They would know the terms by the end of the game because it makes them start over until they get them all right.
So far I have only played Quizlet Live once this year (due to the awkward nature of the teaming, it takes a little longer to play than other games), but I was pleased with the results and plan to play it again to introduce vocabulary.