Wednesday, November 2, 2016

What is gamification and why should I use in my class?

I used twitter to get instructional ideas for my professional development to test out with teachers and students in my school and to teachers that take Grad/PD classes with me.  Last spring I came across some inspiration from rpetitto, #games4ed/blog with many great ideas. One was using GAFE for Staff 30 Day Chrome Challenge. I put it on my radar but never actually made one. I shared the link with my colleague Craig and he jumped in and made some lessons/challenges "gamification lessons" for his students!  So, when co-teaching a grad class with Craig this fall we decided to implement a version of the challenge with our teachers in our blended class this month. The feedback this week was very positive.  So, I am not revisiting how to used with students in my high school.

This year 9th grade students arrived with Chromebooks. They started using in the 8th grade and seem to be relatively savvy compared to many of the other grade levels in our high school. I wanted to review techniques with Google and Chromebooks so I plan to test out a challenge (Game/make a copy) with a few teachers this semester and get some feedback from students. Depending on the feedback students could also learn to make engaging games using this technique!

So, what is Gamification? 
Gamification applies the use of gaming principles in education in order to get students involved, engaged, and excited about learning. Gamification introduces concepts like badges, levels, achievements, and game points to the classroom. Students are rewarded with these concepts when they succeed, but are not penalized when they don’t. By introducing a system of rewards without harsh penalties, students are not afraid to step outside of their comfort zone and fail. By removing their fear of failure we subconsciously encourage them to learn.

Ebook  and tips
Game Based Learning

Badges for independent learning. Though some claim they go against interest-driven learning, digital badges became more prevalent. Supported by the MacArthur Foundation, Mozilla’s Open Badges presents a free standard for creating, issuing, and verifying badges as indicators of accomplishment or attaining a skill. In 2013, badges documented evidence of professional learning as well. The National Science Teachers Association, theSmithsonian Institution, and the Khan Academy offer digital badges for educators and students. In October, Connected Educators Month organizers provided a variety of badges to encourage and reward participation.

I plan on exploring Gamification with a few teachers over the next month and will update the post with feedback from teachers and students!

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