Session Title: Gamifying Your Class
Your Name: Alfonso (Al) Gonzalez
Work Title: Middle School Science Teacher
School or Organization Name: Chimacum Middle School
Co-Presenter Name(s): N/A
Area of the World from Which You Will Present: Washington State, U.S.
Language in Which You Will Present: American English
Target Audience(s): Teachers (any grade level, any content area, Special Education and ESL, too)
Short Session Description (one line):
Why you should gamify your classroom and examples of how you can do it.
Full Session Description (as long as you would like):
Are you constantly looking for different ways to engage all your students? Have you tried traditional methods of teaching found them lacking for 21st century learning and 21 century learners? Then I have some ideas for you.
In this session I will share some examples of how any teacher, teaching any subject or grade level, can gamify their classes. Gamifying, or gamification, is any method that incorporates the best features about playing games to learn. If you’ve played games, specifically but not limited to video games then think about what goes on when you’re playing. If you don’t play games and no video games then watch kids play them. It’s actually quite entertaining to watch, and listen to, someone playing a video game. First of all, they are in complete control. They are the protagonist traversing the story instead of just reading about or watching the protagonist. The player decides what to do. As a matter of fact playing a video game requires decision-making and problem-solving constantly and throughout the playing experience. What’s more the player is getting instant feedback all the time. And the feedback isn’t punitive, it’s formative. You learn what you need when you need it.
What happens when you experience failure in a video game? Do you give up and get off task needing redirection by the teacher? Not often. Failure is part of the video game experience. You will die. But you will respawn or come back to life to try again. In order to beat the level you might die several times until you figure out what needs to be done to be successful. Isn’t that what we want for our students? To keep trying until they succeed? It’s what I want.
By gamifying your classes you will offer your students opportunities for autonomy through choice and mastery using methods of differentiation. Add to that purpose and you’ve got all three of Dan Pink’s surprising truth about what motivates us (Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us). And if your gamified classroom experience works like a video game you’ll also encourage persistence and perseverance in your students instead of reliance on grades and fear of failure.
So how can you do this in your classes? I’ve tried a couple of ways and read some good books that I’m going to share with you. And if you find that it’s something you can do with your classes you could begin your quest in offering quest based learning for your students. Join me and see if this is for you.
Websites / URLs Associated with Your Session: http://www.educatoral.com/wordpress/gamification/