Gamification is an emerging idea where game design and mechanics are used to enhance non-game contexts. For example, using the concept of "leveling up" in place of traditional grading - where students show their proficiency by reaching various desirable levels toward solving a problem. There is an ever increasing body of research indicating the success of gamification in changing behaviors and solving real-world problems. There are several TED talks on this topic. Take a look at this one by Gabe Zichermann.
Come back and add your thoughts to the question, Should we gamify education? If you know of other good examples, research, articles, blogs, etc. on this topic, please share.
This is an important question to pose Marc.
Here are some resources put together by EDUTOPIA to help answer it:
Check out Edutopia's collection of articles, videos, and resources on using video games and simulations in the classroom.
I found this blog post that may be particular helpful to the TF Community regarding this question:
Thanks Shelley! Great resources. I think the blog post by Andrew Miller (http://www.edutopia.org/blog/gamification-game-based-learning-unit-andrew-miller) that you point out is great read for someone interested in this topic.
As this idea gains traction, I think we will start seeing the need to teach current and new teachers more about instructional design in general and components of game design specifically. This is a radical change in teaching, learning and assessment for those who didn't grow up in the gaming world - and for those who have been taught traditional instructional design theories. Companies can create learning materials that incorporate elements of game design, but transformation won't occur until the elements are woven into the very fabric of the classroom.
Thanks again for a great set of resources!
Edutopia just published an article Game-Based Learning Ideas from ISTE (June 26, 2013) that discusses game-based learning (GBL), from educational games to gamification in the classroom. Several free resources are mentioned in the article.
Have you tried any of these educational games? Which ones seem like possibilities to use in your classroom instruction? Please share your ideas here.
To add to the conversation, here's a recent PEW report from last week:
Interactive Gaming on the Rise: http://www.pewtrusts.org/our_work_report_detail.aspx?id=85899389289
which can lead you to a full report on "The Future of Gamification": http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2012/Future-of-Gamification.aspx
Thanks for the links, Tiffany. Interesting article with several good viewpoints. There are lots of really intriguing ideas behind gamification that I think hold real promise in our daily lives - including education. At the same time, we need to take the time to consider all aspects (including the negative) of it before leaping to implementation! Thanks again!
One of the most popular games for kids (and adults too) is Minecraft. I admit to playing late into the night on more than one occasion. I know there are some educators out there using Minecraft in their classroom. Is anyone using Minecraft or a similar game in their classroom?
Here are some great Minecraft in Education Resources:
Minecraft in Education: Get news and educational pricing.
edurealms.com: Resources about teaching and learning with games.
Minecraft Wiki - The ultimate resource for all things Minecraft: Everything you need to know about Minecraft
Another discussion in the Community Hub addresses how teachers feel about the affects of gaming on children. I recommend taking a look at the opinions expressed in How does video gaming affect the education of children? for additional information on this subject.
Check out these other discussions for additional ideas:
Thanks, Marc, for the prod to discussion. I watched the vid and looked at the tips Shelly posted. I'm an instructional designer who has always used games in workshop materials, and I'm highly aware of my kids' gaming (they're 8 and 11). Although Zichermann (in the video) makes good points, one of the most fatal may be the 'out of touch-ness' of anyone over 30. I've seen many games-in-education attempts, and most are piecemiel. The old "blue-eyes brown-eyes" experiment can be considered as such, and along with Carmen Sandiago (sp?) it's remarkable for its rarity. The fact that he cites CS, vintage 1987) (also when I started designing computer based ed) shows that though it may be a good idea to do these things, it's very hard (not unlike designing a fun game itself) and perhaps it won't be until the current crop of 'kids' - Z's "Generation G" - is pulling the levers will we see what that really looks like. My own response has been to get excited about research on how games can improve the cognitive skills that support executive function, working memory, fluid intelligence, etc., and steer kids towards those games instead of the bulk Z doesn't mention, which are time wasters rather than brain builders. For refernce, check out:
I'm also sanguine about his confidence that violent games only affect violent kids. See:
I read an article recently from Common Sense Media called "10 Surprising Ways to Spot a Great Video Game," that includes tips, tricks, and guidelines to get the most out of your kids' video game experience. It's written more from the perspective of what parents should consider in providing access to video games that are fun and educational for their children. I think educators will gain some insight as well by considering the merits of video games to engage children's interests.
I found a well-developed infographic that shows how video games are changing education. I recommend reading, "The Importance of Video Games in Education," posted by Educational Technology and Mobile Learning.