As a teacher, it feels like the options for how to gamify lessons are exploding. Some of the top players are Blooket, Kahoot, Gimkit, Quizizz, and Slides With Friends — but what is each one and which one fits your needs the best?
We've got years of experience with these technologies, and we've done a comprehensive comparison and overview:
Kahoot: 7/10 - We love how many ready-to-play games there are and the gamified feel while still focusing on education. We don't love how predatory and expensive the tool feels to teachers who are building with it.
Quizizz 8/10 - We love the nice design and teacher-friendly feel plus all the homework and asynchronous options. We don't love the pricetag or the learning curve to get started.
Gimkit and Blooket 6/10 - These tools feel very similar to each other. We love the fun and attention-grabbing style of these. We don't love that it's basically computer games with "quizzing" shoehorned in. Not flexible enough to make actually instructive lessons.
Slides With Friends 9/10 - We love how it's the simplest and easiest to use / understand, and that it's the most flexible to use for all different kinds of lessons. We also love the reasonable pricetag.
Jump to a full review:
And now, let's get to the in depth reviews of each platform. For each tool, we've included pricing information, a Pro Con list, a gif of the tool in action, and an overview of our key takeaways.
Overall, our favorite tech tool that enables interaction in the classroom is Slides With Friends.
A slide deck builder that you can create presentations in (think like PowerPoint or Google Slides). The cool part is when you launch your slide show, your students can join in to your deck, and play along. They can send answers to quiz questions, ratings and poll answers, and even make funny sounds from an emoji soundboard (this is an optional feature on any deck — in case your students like it a little TOO much). Overall it's a good mix between gamification (with scoring and voting) and professional and instructional.
SlidesWith is one of the more affordable options out there, especially for teachers. They've got special education pricing for teachers, that drops the cost to $6 per month per teacher when you get an annual subscription.
Slides With Friends is one of the best new tools out there, combining an easy-to-understand set up with super fun-to-play events, and it's much more affordable than a lot of the other options.
Blooket really takes the idea of "gamifying" to heart: its goal is to combine quizzing with gameplay. It's quite similar to Gimkit (see below).
A mixture between a video game or Jackbox game, and Kahoot. Blooket looks a lot like a Kahoot quiz embedded with an external incentivizer, eg. a race or other game mode.
Like Quizizz, students individually answer multiple-choice questions at their own pace on their devices, earning "money" for correct answers. The objective is to accumulate the most "money" by the game's end. Even in team mode, answers are submitted individually, but the "money" earned contributes to the team's total.
Blooket's free tier is super generous. Play for free with up to 60 students, and then it's $36 a year to host up to 300 students or $5 a month. However you get more and better reporting with the paid plans, and more game options.
We like Blooket for homework or async learning. For in the classroom, it feels a little bit screen-focused for real life / in-person learning.
The OG (original game). Kahoot makes it clear that it is the first of this kind, given that most of the options below feel like an ecosystem set up around a Kahoot game. It's a quizzing and gamified group formative assessment tool. It enables live, interactive quizzing, letting you create or find a quiz, launch it as a presentation on a computer / tv / projector screen, and your students join in on their own devices (phone, tablet, desktop) through a link or downloaded app. You then run through questions one by one with your students, live as a group.
Kahoot has a somewhat kid-glove and early-technology feeling, for instance answer options are given colors and shapes and you have to tap on the matching color/shape on your player screen (rather than being able to make a direct selection of an answer's text). Despite numerous users expressing satisfaction with Kahoot, large review sites have many people noting several recurring drawbacks, such as costly subscription options, limited personalization capabilities, a complex interface, and a restricted variety of question formats.
Kahoot is one of the less affordable options on the list. To get the bare minimum you'll need to pay $50 a year. To get reporting and access to better lesson content, it's $72 a year.
Kahoot is powerful and sturdy software. If you want to run simple gamified quizzes, it's one of the most obvious choices (as long as you can afford the price tag).
Gimkit is similar to Blooket: Both have the idea to embed and incentivize quizzing (and therefore hopefully learning) while your students are playing video games.
Gimkit is a little like a kid's video game with Kahoot built in. It's not that different from Blooket is quite a few ways, but the quizzing is a little more separate. To play, you find a "kit" (game or questions set) you want to have your kids answer, you choose a "game mode" (like speed of answers, points earned, number of questions answered, etc) and then launch an event. Joining looks very similar to Kahoot (in fact the design and font are pretty much the same).
Based on your game mode selection a game type and there's a console game esque element that incentivizes answering questions. For example the gif above is of the game version "Snowbrawl", where avatars run around shooting each other with snowballs (think like Super Smash Brothers), and you can refuel your snowball ammo by answering quiz questions correctly. Here's a great Re:EdTech video of Gimkit Gameplay of how launch, join, and the quizzing portion of gameplay looks.
Gimket's free tier is very usable. The main restriction is that you only have access to three of the game "modes" or types (like Snowbrawl). If you want more game options, you'll have to upgrade to Pro. This gets you access to all the game modes.
The Gimkit Pro annual plan is $60 for the year, and the monthly plan is $10 a month ($120 a year).
It's best used as a way to get kids feeling like they're playing, with some formative assessment snuck in around the edges. If you want some time off, it's a good way to get a rest during the day, since it basiaclly keeps the kids occupied with a video game.
Quizziz is one of our favorite interactive quizzing platforms — it's full featured and gamifies lessons while still being education-focused. (It's also one of the most expensive option on the list). It's similar in its basic idea to Kahoot: you build or find a quiz, present it live, and let your students join in and play through. It's a little more slick and souped-up looking, and has a better design feel than Kahoot. It's also got more
Quizizz lets you build, edit, and share interactive quizzes and lessons, including both teacher-led and self-paced quizzes or lessons. The editor lets you incorporate various question types and multimedia elements in customized quizzes.
A Quizizz upgrade runs $12 a month, and lets you have more players and more power during your events (eg. you can do things like pause a game with the upgrade).
Quizizz may be expensive, but you get a lot for the pricetag. There are so many pre made lessons and quizzes to choose from, and it's our second favorite option on this list.
Our final choice for the best interactive software for the classroom? Slides With Friends.
If you're looking to engage your students while still looking professional and keeping things not feeling like "let's just play a video game", Slides With Friends is the best option.
- Create your own interactive lessons and slide deck games
- Run quizzes / exams or formative assessments, classroom games, icebreakers, review games, and more
- Ask multiple choice or text-answer quiz questions, run live polls, play show & tell with photos, create word clouds live, play "Apples to Apples" type games, send fun sounds, and more
To get started, you can check out the popular decks library, copy any deck into your account, and launch a presentation. Students join in on any device that has the internet, like a tablet, desktop, or smartphone. Students love the soundboard and silly avatars.
Overall it's fun, inventive, and easy to use.