Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Gamification in the Classroom

Gamification has been on my mind lately.  One of my goals for this school year is to include more gamified learning in my classroom.

Maybe you saw Jane McGonigal's inspiring Keynote at ISTE?  I think the potential for games in education is limitless!

Today I watched Alice Keeler's fantastic video on Gamification (see below).  She explains the difference between games and gamification.  I love that there were immediate takeaways: in my math lesson on estimating differences today, I created many more interesting "epic" story problems to correlate with the math.  My students loved it- we had a great lesson today in part due to this video!

Sidenote: I came across this video through the Innovative Learning Technologies Special Interest Group (SIG) from ISTE.  Check out a list of all the SIGs here.  Excellent resource!

I also came across the website Educade, which is devoted to gamification in the classroom.  I love that it includes lesson plans with gaming ideas!  This would be a great resource to gather your lesson "hooks".  I also would like to incorporate Minecraft and MakeyMakey into the curriculum this year, so this site offers guidance from educators who have completed projects.

Class Dojo

In the past, I have used Edmodo. My students gave it the moniker "Kid Facebook", and they seemed to enjoy it.  I liked the badges.
This year I think I will rely more heavily on Class Dojo.  I like the avatars, and I plan to use this abundantly for positive behavior rewards.  I also like that you can automatically email parent reports!  I would also like to utilize this resource to track skills- not just behavior.  I like the idea of leveling up and competing against themselves.

How are you using gamification in the classroom?


Kam Star

I think its really great to want to use Gamification in the classroom - but I would personally take what some of the folks on the videos on this page have said with a very big pinch of salt - the keynote at the top's own attempts at gamification seem to have failed.

There is a great body of evidence showing that gamification - when done correctly - can have a positive effect on learning, what's interesting for me is that it can have a very big improvement in learning for the struggling students. i.e. it can really help those who are failing. (I suppose the better students will always manage anyway, but the evidence shows that students who were doing well before, don't improve by very much)

Having analysed a lot of the empirical studies in this space, to put it in succinctly - gamification in learning can work, if it provides a genuinely better framework and feedback mechanism for learners. Where the needs of the student is put first and not the needs of the facilitator or teacher to keep an eye.

B Inglis

What an interesting website! I have never heard of gamification before I read this page. As a special educator I am always looking for hands on ideas to incorporate into the classroom. With gamification I may keep the attention of my students longer which in turn will enhance their learning experience. Thanks for attaching the videos. The only "gamification" I have used in my classroom thus far is Minecraft. The students LOVE this game. I use it as a reward system where they must earn a certain amount of stickers throughout the day to get minutes to play. I am interested in using Edmodo and Class Mojo. They both seem user friendly. I am excited to explore more with gamification and hopefully share these new tools with the other educators in my building.

Stacy York


This was really interesting to read and view some other thoughts on gamification in the classroom. I am writing a blog series about how gamification and classroom economy interlink in my classroom. I use it less for behaviour and more for quality work rewards. I use the classroom as a whole as a game, where all work enables them to level up and buy more items and rewards in class. It has been a developing concept over 5 years.

Check it out and let me know what you think:
Classroom Economy and Gamification


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