Habitica

HabiticaI said I would test Habitica for a month to see what I thought because I wasn’t sure. In a month I achieved a lot but for me the game part of Habitica was superfluous to requirements. I then did not use it for a fortnight, again, to see. I signed back in yesterday and was so glad!

In terms of functionality the site works really well. It is easy to load and navigate. I don’t find the app so helpful but I have grown used to it in the time I have used it. The app conforms to progressive disclosure as most apps do these days. I prefer to see the options and choices as you do on a website and take it from there. I find the app is handy to update my lists either by adding or completing tasks , to dos and dailies. The site for me, though, is more usable. I like to see it all in a glance and then drill down to the next lot of information if I want to. I guess the app is my quick look and check place and I use the site to think and plan.

Why am I back on Habitica? Why use an app where I am not interested in half of it? The half which works for me gives me back a lot of brain real estate. I don’t have to have a head cluttered with things to do and then hold and carry them around. I can write things in my diary or make notes on my phone but then it is all over the place. Habitica has sorted out my goals from my habits and then there are the things I need and want to do. Now that I am back I am using the dates on the to do list more. I really would like a forward planning list which captures my future plans if I have the time and wherewithal to complete them. My wish list. I do have a done list now and that is so handy. I can see all I have done. It is there for if I ever think I am not doing enough. It also shows me just how much I do.

Others really do like the gaming aspect of Habitica. They love the Guilds and Quests. It is not for me. Not right now , anyway. For others the gaming aspect keeps them on their toes, they get rewards and they are encouraged to achieve their goals in a nice way. Habitica is a very friendly, positive site and a site which focuses on positive performance and encouragement. I love the pixellated pictures and it fits right in with my current game Stardew Valley.

You don’t have to pay for Habitica. You can subscribe, donate or buy parcels of gems but there is no pressure to do so and no trickery in terms of forcing you to.  I am happy to dress up my avatar, grow and feed pets and just benefit from the positive feel of the site. When I use Habitica I get my ideas planned and worked out in the morning and then I can spend the rest of the day achieving them, adding to them, changing them and I do plan ahead now using the dates. I can achieve everything more easily with Habitica but the best thing is I don’t have a head full of garbage…it’s on my lists and ready to go!

Everyone needs a PLP and an IDP

learner_diagram Image: my-iPlan

In South Australia students develop a PLP as part of Stage 1 SACE (South Australian Certificate of Education). We  can work in different ways towards that from the time they walk into a school because it is not something which can be suddenly arranged and produced in Year 11. It is learning about organisation, capabilities, possibilities, collaboration. There are skills to be learned which help create an effective PLP. This provides foundation skills for life long learning and participation in one’s own development. Students can learn they are responsible for what happens to them and their future and that they can work positively towards that . They also realise helping others helps them. A personal learning plan now, though, has an additional meaning of tailored and customised learning. Why not? We live in the age of technology which is ubiquitous. Many of us have the capacity to engage with technology at any time and so can create a personal learning plan whenever we want. We can consider what we want to know and learn, how to go about it and where to get training or skills. How we learn new things has become so much easier and we do not have to be in an educational institution. Creating a PLP is part of a growth mindset. The Individual Development Plan is something I see as different. We have professional conversations at our school, we have Step 9 conversations as part of our system and we have different opportunities to engage with other teachers and our professional organisations. The way I see it , you have a discussion with others about who you are, what you stand for and what you have been doing. You can look at the professional standards, the assessment criteria for the national curriculum or you can use a video clip or article to promote discussion. Others will often see you in a different light. They will shine the light on the shiny spots and dig into the dingey corners. As you speak with them you can be reframing yourself and what you would like to do and achieve. You can say what you were thinking of doing and suddenly you have 10 more things to think about that you had not even considered. I accept it is hard to work 30 students through a PLP and then to look at an IDP would be huge. If we did that for all school staff it would be big! What if we made it a part of the culture? What if there were tools we could use to plan our learning and then our development? What if we learned that we are capable of taking responsibility for it ourselves but we need to be pointed in the right direction and we need opportunities to get feedback and input? The SAT and Self Reflection Tool on the  aitsl  site are good for that sort of thinking and responsibility for your own development. There are things there which we need to collate and promote. We could then go to the next stage of peer review in an online community!

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