Who Does it Better? GimKit or Shiken?
The simple charm of GimKit, and the fact that it was created by a student for other students, makes it a fantastic choice for many schools. With interactive game show-style play for the classroom and flashcard-style homework, this is an app that can effortlessly take students from group play to solo, with activities set and personalized by the teacher.
In-game cash prizes boost motivation, while a "kit" is basically a question set and instantly recognizable game ideas like the floor is lava encourage participation.
The paid version of GimKit features more kits and upgrades to collectables and the ability for students to earn money when working at their own pace rather than on live games.
Shiken was born in 2023 and it combines gamification with learning, alongside mindfulness techniques, so that children can learn while having fun and soothing their fears or anxieties.With mental health at its core, the platform has an extensive question library that teachers can use to create quizzes, as well as video courses they might find useful.
The teacher dashboard combines several apps into one, so there is no need for a separate note-taking or goal-setting app.
The two edtech platforms certainly have their place in the classroom, but which one will help students shine a little bit brighter?
What Are the Limitations of GimKit?
There is not much to criticize when it comes to GimKit, but there are one or two thing sit could improve on.
Range of Game Modes
The gameshow vibe of GimKit makes it a firm favourite in the classroom. For the first two or three times. Then the app becomes a bit boring. The idea is a novelty that could wear off quickly.
The Questions are Simple
Sounds good, doesn’t it? Simple questions make for easier games. But the types of questions could do with some variety. Choose from multiple choice games or open-ended questions games. There is nothing else.
Games To Keep Students Engaged
GimKit is very focused on children and holding their attention with games. When it comes to actually learning topics it doesn't have a deep pedagogical basis and adult learners and older students will likely find things a little childish.
How Does Shiken Measure Up?
Shiken has what it takes to keep children and students engaged throughout class. It’s also incredibly user-friendly for both teachers and students, ensuring minimal disruption as the games are setup.
The games are all quiz-style, but they come with cute study buddies that can be unlocked as the game and students progress. Challenges can be set remotely, so users can compete against each other even when they are not all in the same room, making this a great homework tool. Meanwhile, teachers can log in to their dashboard to see who the class is doing well and who might need a little more encouragement.
Shiken is unique in its mindfulness offering. With motivational quotes, scheduled breaks,and soothing music proven to aid concentration, this is an app you use in the background when you are doing other things to increase focus.
Key Features of Shiken
As already mentioned, this is the most important aspect of Shiken, which all other features are built around. GimKit has nothing in the way of mindfulness during learning, instead relying on the user to be responsible for their own time.Shiken has break reminders and music to help you concentrate, amongst other useful tools to prevent burnout.
Shiken has over 75,000 questions in its library and is growing, ensuring every topic is covered and no two games are ever alike! Since GimKit is made up of questions entered by teachers, the library is ever-increasing, but you have to manually search and add them to your school folder. Students can also join Play Live without the school having to add their own questions.
Ability to Set Goals
One way that Shiken boosts motivation is through goal setting. Users can decide how much they want to learn and how quickly, giving them a tangible marker to headfor. This is great for teachers wanting to set homework to be completed ontime, keep students engaged or just for individuals who need that extra push. GimKit does something similar in the Live mode.
Ability to Take Notes
Seen a question you want to include later, or one that you want to edit? Just add anote to it. This saves you from having to make a separate note of the question and gives you a chance to teach the game the subject before setting the game. This is not a feature you can find on GimKit.
Ready to test how much your students have learned? The exam section in Shiken is perfect for this, allowing you to set questions to be completed within a set amount of time, which you can encourage your students to do in quiet exam conditions. There is no exam option in GimKit since it is based on social competitiveness.
Yourteacher dashboard is an invaluable tool on Shiken that allows you to see your student’s progress with just a glance. You can see who has done well, and who hasn’t, and spot any students that are yet to complete their tasks. This allows you to celebrate those who have really tried, help those who are struggling,and nudge those that haven’t gotten around to it yet. You can also set questions and tests from your dashboard and connect to voice-activated devices for a more immersive experience. The lack of this feature on GimKit makes it a little less user-friendly.
Connect to Alexa and you can set spoken questions and have remote conversations with your students. This is ideal when students are in a lockdown situation and particularly useful when students are learning languages. This is a feature only included in GimKit Pro, where teachers can add audio to the questions set.
Video courses are a very helpful tool when it comes to learning whole topics through Shiken. They can supplement a classroom lesson or be used as homework assignments or to consolidate learning. Students are asked questions at the end of their video courses to ensure they have understood everything. Video is an option onGimKit, but you have to set it up yourself, which is far from hassle or cost-free!
Of course,with everything in life, some decisions are based purely on price. GimKit has a free plan with restricted email access for students. After that, you might choose to pay $9.99 a month or $59.99 a year for email only. A whole school package is $1,000 for the year.
Shiken has dedicated school packages which are free for the first teacher to join – this makes fora much better trial of the product. After that, it cost is £10 per additional teacher. If you want to go pro, it is £1500 for the year, but this provides some incredible benefits that are worth the cost!
So, Which Platform is Better?
GimKit is a wonderful option for occasional homework use, but its lack of motivational drive means students are likely to get bored quickly. And despite the various game modes,the question-answer styles are samey and rely on teacher input.
If you want something fuss-free that your students will want to use over and over again,Shiken could be the one for you! This powerful, easy-to-use platform ticks all the right boxes, with the bonus of mindfulness techniques that are invaluable for anxious students or anyone who might feel stressed about impending assignments or exams.The calming music can be used in the background for all quiet classroom activities, bringing a sense of tranquillity and calm to learning.
Is GimKit a suitable alternative to Shiken? We don’t think so! But hey, why not decide for yourself by setting up your free teacher account on Shiken today?
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