Hot Potatoes is a quiz generating software application used to create activities suitable for language learning. Recently, Hot Potatoes has had a facelift. This facelift ensures that learning activities are responsive. This means that the display is automatically transformed to suit laptop, tablet and mobile phone displays.
The facelift sports a more contemporary interface. Participants at recent workshops have argued that it is not a true reflection of current media appearance and it will not appeal to millennials. While there is merit to this point-of-view, we, my team and I, are proposing that Hot Potatoes can be used as a part of a more comprehensive education technology solution.
6 Tech tools for your educational tool box
In our current project, we are using Hot Potatoes activities as one element in a mix of six education technology tools to assure that the students have a dynamic learning experience. These tools are:
- Adobe Captivate
- and Hot Potatoes.
We create learning events using the Hot Potatoes suite’s six applications when we determine that student learning can be enhanced or supported. These learning events include online interactive multiple-choice, short-answer, jumbled-sentence, crossword, matching/ordering and gap-fill exercises. The Hot Potatoes Masher application allows teachers to bundle a series of activities into a theme.
It should be noted that developing simple learning activities with Hot Potatoes is faster than the more complex rapid development tools such as Adobe Captivate. This can be debated if an Adobe Captivate development team has already developed a set of templates. This is an expensive effort which most language teaching centres cannot afford. For generating learning objects quickly that can be hosted through a variety of means, Hot Potatoes is a solid choice.
Pretty well everything I wrote in 2002 in, “Wow, I could have had a Hot Potato!” reflects the current version of Hot Potatoes. If you are a language instructor and want to quickly generate some digital activities that the students can use without instruction, I suggest you give Hot Potatoes a try.
Reasons to use Hot Potatoes as a language instructor:
- Free of charge
- Used for language teaching globally for over 15 years
- Easy to learn/use
- Publishes web pages
- Publishes to SCORM (for LMS users)
- Left to right script friendly
- Activities are printable
- Activities offer instant feedback
- Activities can include
- YouTube videos
- Reading texts
- Listening audio
- Activities can be shared via
- USB thumb drive
- Learning management system
- Local network
- Web server (web address)
- Activity options can include
- A countdown timer
- Customized appearance
- A variety of button functions
- Hints and or clues
- Lots of tutorials/resources online
There are a bounty of support resources listed below. A variety of providers have produced Hot Potatoes learning objects for different LINC levels. These were created before Hot Potatoes had its facelift so the look and feel reflect the nineties. However, they may be useful for your instructional purposes. If you have any comments about your experiences with Hot Potatoes, please comment below.
Hot Potatoes Resources
Hot Potatoes, University of Victoria – http://hotpot.uvic.ca
Downloads (download to your hard drive)
Hot Potatoes: Download – Hot Potatoes 6.3 installer (Hot Potatoes for Windows version 6.3).
Hot Potatoes Add-ons – http://ewbooks.info/hotpot/add-ons
Facelift Responsive v1.3 http://ewbooks.info/hotpot/assets/files/Facelift_Responsive.zip
Hot Potatoes Tutorials, Stan Bogdanov – http://ewbooks.info/hotpot/tutorials
Hot Potatoes Tutorials, University of Victoria – http://hotpot.uvic.ca/tutorials6.php
Hot Potatoes Manual, University of Victoria – https://hotpot.uvic.ca/hotpot6_help.pdf
Hot Potatoes How To for Teachers, John Allan – http://bit.ly/2lgAwQN
Hot Potatoes example sites, University of Victoria (old site – some links do not work) http://hotpot.uvic.ca/sites6.php
Hot Potatoes example sites, Stan Bogdanov. http://ewbooks.info/hotpot/taxonomy
Taking Hot Potatoes to another level
Hacking Hot Potatoes: The Cookbook, Stan Bogdanov. (2013). http://hotpot.ewbooks.info
Really Old Article
Allan, John. (2002). Wow, I Could have had a Hot Potato! TESL Ontario Contact magazine. Vol. 28, No. 1, Spring 2002. P. 40-42. http://www.teslontario.net/uploads/publications/contact/ContactSpring2002.pdf
LINC Hot Potatoes Exemplars
LINC 1, http://learnit2teach.ca/linc1
LINC 2, http://learnit2teach.ca/linc2