Sometime over the weekend Alec Alegre felt like drawing a picture of Goofy that he could slip behind the plastic cover of his binder.
It was done in pencil – his name graced a small portion of it to demonstrate his pride in how the gray scaled project turned out – and if you ask him about it his smile widens larger than that of the cartoon dog that Walt Disney made famous as one of Mickey Mouse’s sidekicks.
But Alegre’s art project was also prophetic in a sense.
As one of 2,161 students that all took the same online quiz simultaneously Monday morning, Alegre got the chance to set a world record for using Kahoot! – the quiz-making app that has been taking Manteca Unified classrooms by storm since teachers and students started learning about new and innovative ways to incorporate technology into the classroom with their tablets and computers.
The topic of the quiz? Disney characters.
“I like that you can learn in a fun and interesting manner, and I had no idea what the quiz was going to be about,” said Alegre, who missed none of the questions anyway. “I like that it’s colorful and it has a lot to offer because it makes learning more fun.
“It makes it easier to become interested and stay focused on the subject. That’s why I like it.”
Alegre’s 7th grade class was one of a handful at McParland that joined in after a brief technical hiccup knocked the district’s intranet system offline for nearly 30 minutes. Eventually classrooms were able to sign in, and nearly 2,200 Manteca Unified students across the district took the quiz in real time – a series of nine questions that tested their knowledge about Disney’s main characters
In all it took 117 teachers scattered over 28 school sites to make it work, and even a few administrators jumped into the fray. Clarke Burke, Manteca Unified Deputy Superintendent, joined in the fun while on assignment in Davis.
His boss – Jason Messer – said that he’d be lying if he said he couldn’t believe that interconnected teachers and students were capable of this. Messer met Kahoot! Co-Founder and CEO Johan Brand at the South-by-Southwest Tech conference earlier this year and got him to make a special visit to Manteca Unified sites to see how his work is being utilized in the classroom.
“I’m in awe every day at what our very devoted teachers are doing with their talented students,” Messer said. “They’re engaging in the digital world – from One Note Funk to world records to Kahoot! to preparing the presentations and visual aids at Farm Day at Shasta School – it’s amazing what our kids and our are teachers are doing together. I look forward to next year on Day One when everything is in place and everybody knows what’s going on. There’s no limit to what can be done.”
According to Victoria Brunn – Manteca Unified’s Director of Community Outreach and Innovative Programs – said that she thinks that other schools that use the software will see the world record and will soon be mounting challenges. Reclaiming their top spot, she said, is something the district has pride in.
“One of the things that really made this interesting was the fact that we had eighth grade kids playing with kindergarteners, and to have Mr. Ken Johnson come up with a quiz that appealed to that wide of an audience made this what it was. That took a lot of planning.”
And the company’s CEO concurs.
“I just love how you guys have gone all in and made it happen,” Brand said in a message to Brunn. “You are Kahoot! Legends!”