Liz Kolb, professor of Teacher Education at University of Michigan, explains how to use a gaming approach to revolutionize her classroom. With a solid two years of perfecting classroom gamification, Kolb shares ways for teachers to have epic wins in their implementation. She takes it to the next level by sharing gamification software, which I'm sure is a lot of fun to use! Kolb also shares how to troubleshoot failed "quests" so they can become successful next time.
Martin Berk, a TeacherCast contributor, shares five major benefits of gamification. Berk establishes it as a well-grounded concept, both in terms of pedagogy and efficiency. He also takes care to debunk the common misconception that gamification means playing video games during class, and refocuses on using different types of technology. There are also embedded links for the points, with the section on cognitive development being especially interesting.
New Jersey teacher, Matthew Farber, sits down with TL Talk Radio to tell of his success with gamification in the classroom. He discusses concepts from his recent book, Gamify Your Classroom, ranging from education theory to borrowing concepts from popular video games like Minecraft. As a self-described field guide to game based learning, Farber says the book is perfect for the 21st century classroom. The podcast also has a questions outline, which is helpful for future reference.
Badges are a basic video game concept, and the easiest one to incorporate into gamifying your classroom. Open Badges allows you to customize badges with text, color, banners, and more. It's free to use, so it's no wonder that almost 15,000 schools, libraries, and clubs use Open Badges. It would be great to use these as marking period-driven superlatives, such as "Most Improved" or "Highest Quiz Average." Badges can be very basic, or they can get extremely fancy!
Peter Gray Ph.D., contributes this article on video games and cognition to Psychology Today. The article discusses how playing video games improve visual processes, attention, executive functioning, and job-related skills. Ir's interesting to see all these benefits, especially in light of mixed research on the impact of video games on childreen and teens. Dr. Gray also has two previous articles about video games, which are linked in the opening paragraph.
Ask a Teacher publishes this short, but incredibly helpful universal guide on adapting any subject to a gamified lesson plan. At $1.99, it's a real bargain. It covers everything from Common Core and ISTE alignment, best practices, a sample grading rubric. I would recommend this to teachers that are new to gamification and want to take a basic approach to it.
Michael John, a contributor to TechCrunch.com, is a creative product designer whose credits include Spyro the Dragon and Daxter. John is critical of the concept of gamification, and explains that great teachers already make learning engaging and exciting. As a video game designer for over 15 years, Michael John claims that gamification doesn't revolutionize the classroom-- mostly because there is a disconnect between implementation and purpose. It's a heavy read and an interesting counterpoint.
Here is a list of the top-rated blogs written by gamification gurus. The spectrum is pretty wide, as it ranges from innovative educators to video game enthusiasts. The bloggers all have great social media followings, so you can even connect with them on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. The first blog, written by
TechQuickie gives a condensed overview of gamification in this 5-minute video. It discusses both good and bad examples of gamifications, from LinkedIn badges to FourSquare rewards. You'll learn how large companies (and even some governments) are capitalizing on the trend, so it's no surprise that gamification has made its way into classrooms. It's a really interesting talking piece, especially once you realize that many companies you interact with have gamified relationships with consumers.
Teacher Paul Andersen explains how being a child of the 1980's playing video games shaped his perspective on teaching, failure versus success, and student engagement. He includes a great video of his classroom, when he invited students to play Angry Birds on a laptop. This leads into his discussion of why marrying gaming and technology in the classroom is sort of a perfect fit for today's students. It's an uplifting presentation from someone who clearly has a vocation to teach.