Tonight I will be co-moderating #isedchat with Jon Cassie, Head of the Upper School at Sewickley Academy - the topic is "Gamification of the Classroom." Join us at 9 PM EST to learn more!
In his book, Reinventing Schools: It’s Time to Break the Mold, Charles Reigeluth discusses these fundamental shifts needed in education:
- A move to customization from standardization
- Increased diversity of ideas, information, and perspective rather than uniformity
- An emphasis on collaboration rather than adversarial relationships
- Work characterized by teamwork/shared leadership rather than bureaucracy
- A focus on individual empowerment and accountability rather than centralized control
- A reliance on worker self-direction rather than compliance
- Increasing prevalence of self-service as opposed to a reliance on professionals
- A holistic world view rather than compartmentalization
Enter gamification (as opposed to game-based learning which uses actual games in the classroom). What gamification can add to education is that it provides students with enhanced opportunities for:
- Engagement: making students more interested in what they are learning
- Flexibility: allowing students to develop increased mental flexibility and problem solving
- Competition: playing on the natural human desire for competition
- Collaboration: In a hyper-connected world building collaborative skills is essential
Game designer Jane McGonigal sees four additional attributes that gamification can help learners develop.
- Urgent Optimism: Gamers are characterized by extreme self-motivation. They act immediately and decisively to attack an obstacle and always believe that there is a realistic chance of success.
- Social Fabric: Through game play, individuals develop an affinity for the other gamers they are playing with, trust that those individuals will support the collective effort, and nurture a strong understanding of cooperation and its benefits.
- Blissful Productivity: Game play makes the gamer happier while working hard than people generally are while relaxing or doing nothing. During game play, the individual is optimizing their productivity and enjoying it.
- Epic Meaning: The problem-based nature of games allows players to feel that they are part of something larger than themselves, and people love feeling like they are a part of something big. This feeling motivates and inspires them to keep playing to solve any problem they encounter.
While these objectives can be accomplished through a variety of pedagogical methods - gamification offers a fresh approach. Join us tonight to discuss gamification. I will post a link to the archive on my blog for those who can't make it!