Some see it as trendy twaddle. Some see it as beneath them. Others think is is vapid nonsense and then there are those who have embraced gamifying the classroom. Teachers embraced books, pens and paper, film, video, internet, Microsoft Office…time to really look at how gaming principles can enhance and improve learning. They are the new learning currency. TeachThought has one of the best articles I have seen explaining some of the principles behind implementing and succeeding with a gamification approach. 6 Factors of Classroom Gamification explores some of the concepts and then practical ways of using these gaming ideas to create the impact of good learning. I have to confess I used to think computer games were silly twaddle. I didn’t think they were serious learning. You don’t want to be so open minded your brains fall out nor do you want to be so closed minded you block knowledge and learning. I have to say MyPlayCity was a site which helped get me going. I was horrified with the choices and couldn’t find anything I liked and that was just reinforcing my prejudices about games. The site worked with me and nurtured me so I could find things I liked. As it turns out I like games where you build cities, farms etc, hidden object games, puzzle and word games. I have now been playing games for a few years and have found I can be successful at it. You have to play games to understand how they are teaching you to learn very effectively. They start you off small and simply, they let you lean, they lead you by the nose, they then teach you how not to be conned, ripped off and ,basically, stupid. They encourage and reward you. You then get to the stage where you can take control of the game and play it your way. Helsinki based Supercell is the current king of mobile gaming, with its 8.5 million players a day generating at least $2.4 million just about every day. Two games – Clash of Clans and HayDay are responsible for this. The Forbes site has a good run down on the company and the article explains why the games are so successful . At the core of it is the Australian National Curriculum Personal and Social Capability and that in itself is a good reason to be looking at a gaming approach in class to help current students learn in a way which is so familiar to them. HayDay has been a really different game for me to play and I have learned a lot. I had to battle the first 14 levels so I didn’t run out of storage, get bullied into buying diamonds to bail me out or get swamped by too much to do. I am now up to level 33 and am in control of the game. I have learned the tips, tricks and intricacies. I can grow the game in my own way and it’s a game I can pick up and put down. The cognitive flow is there, the inpiration is there and the challenges are there. It is a complex game which requires thinking and flexibility. It is also a game where you get community support whether you belong to a network or not so there is a really good social aspect to the game. Games are a way of life now as were books, TV and film. We need to use them to our asvantage.
Filed under: classroom, e-learning, flipped classroom, methodology, software, technology | Tagged: games, gamification, gamifying the classroom, HayDay, mobile technology, Personal and Social Capability, software, Supercell, Teaching for Effective Learning, teaching in the 21st century, technology, TeFL |