Friday, April 24, 2015

Gamifying Education

I'm a gamer at heart. I can remember so clearly sitting on my grandparent's living room floor on Christmas Day of 1986 and opening a brand new Nintendo Entertainment System. My life was forever changed! I still, at 35 years old, get a thrill when I unlock a new trophy or achievement in my current PS4 video games. To be able to look at my digital trophy collection is very rewarding. . . and motivating as I am constantly looking to see what I must do to earn that next trophy! This type of motivation is what I always desired to see in my students.

The gamification of education is not a new movement; I've been hearing about this concept at conferences for the last three or four years. What I am finding, however, is that it is becoming easier and easier for educators to gamify their classrooms! This gamification could be based on a badge system where students are rewarded with digital trophies and badges for performing certain tasks. Want to create custom badges to begin distributing to students for their achievements? Try Open Badges or ClassBadges to get started. Want to make actual games more of a part of your everyday teaching and lessons? Try Kahoot!Quizizz, or Plickers. These tools will lead to an energy and engagement level you've only dreamed of!

With the technology we have available in this district, why not meet our students on their interest level? I believe a little gamification may just be what some of these students need to engage in the educational process!