Gamification Consumers and Producers.
"Gamification is exciting because it promises to make the hard stuff in life fun." (Oxford dictionary)
Gamification-the making of education activities to seem more like games. Creating learning that breaks the monotony and challenges students to complete concepts in a way that engages them. After all if McDonald's Restaurants use gamification to train their till operators, their must be something in it.
Of course, this does not mean the students have to always be the consumers, higher level thinking can take place when the students create their own games. Creating is one of the highest levels of Bloom's Taxonomy (revised). A classroom where the students are being the creators and learning becomes a real world learning experience is one that is moving into 21st Century learning. Students learn to use their mathematical, and literacy skills to create interactive games, presentations and multi-modal productions.
There is no need for teachers to be fearful of not knowing how to create games most have free tutorials and with a few key questions and challenges, students will soon become "experts" in their fields. How proud will a student feels when you say, "Go to ..., she/he is the expert in transitions." In my own class I have seen this take affect and students that usually don't get recognition suddenly having their moment in the spotlight as a horde of students want to find out how they achieved some area in their design or game.
The research points to the fact that students will learn in areas that they normally don't through the gamification of areas of learning.
“We found support for claims that well-designed games can motivate students to learn less popular subjects, such as math, and that game-based learning can actually get students interested in the subject matter—and can broaden their focus beyond just collecting stars or points,” commented one of the study’s lead researchers, Jan Plass. Cited From: open colleges.com.au
So what are you waiting for start playing quality games in the classroom, but also creating them with your students after all learning should be challenging and fun!
Start your class producing :)
Programs for the Elementary students to starting programs:
Scratch Jr: Created for the K- 3 grade students a simple version of Scratch for the iPad. You'll be amazed at what they can do!
Hopscotch: Create game for the grade 3-5 students. It has tutorials so you don't have to worry if as a teacher your not a creator you can play and learn along with the students. :)
Scratch: Created by MIT university for developing the first steps in coding without having to understand program language. Create share games, stories and animations. Online game making
From Grade 3-7 students enjoy the challenge and creativity.
Tynker: Based on the principles developed through Scratch, Tynker is a growing education website using coding steps. Online game making but is not free.
Slightly more Advanced:
Construct 2 For beginners or more advanced makes 2D html 5 games. Download software
Stencyl Make iOs , Android and Flash games in another platform based on the MIT Scratch blocks. With this program coding can also be included and you never know you may end up with a game on an app store.
GC DevKit (Mozilla) The quality and integrity of Mozilla is to be admired the programming though takes some learning but great for skilled students as the games are able to be developed to a high quality (if you understand some programming) and maybe even shared on the app store.
A further and well developed list of other programs from Clay.io Project here
McDonalds' till game
Gaming online learning: Free courses
https://www.coursera.org/course/gamification (Penn University of Pennsylvania)
https://www.openlearning.com/courses/gamify (Open Learning)
LINKS to others.