Gaming and Teaching are two of my favourite topics: both prize aesthetic experience, and both involve getting better at things. It would seem that both would be mutually beneficial. One of the greatest benefits would be, I think the encouragement of the competitive nature that makes us strive to be better. It reminds me of some great selective schools I have visited recently where the (friendly) competitive nature of the school was identified as the foundation for the high standards achieved.
A colleague (who is himself highly competitive!) recently introduced me to his passion for gamification. This website summarises some great thoughts on the matter:
The essential aspect of gamification is that it is integrated – it is not simply a bolt-on.
Let us take for granted that students will be behaved enough to not have serious disruptions. Let us take it for granted that they will complete work set at a reasonable pace. However, you must ask whether they are receptiveness. Is there a real excitement?
I recently saw an app called Classcraft. As I said at the opening of this, I love games, and I love teaching. However, this kind of gamification turns my stomach; it also intrigues. I suppose getting people to work together on projects is a nice idea. However, the level of commitment cannot be an extra – it needs to lead to a deprioritisation of something else. And what will that be, I wonder?
Recently, I’ve used kahoot.it. It allows me to test comprehension. Compared to Doddle, it is infinitely superior. It is free. Is is quicker. It has a quality library of questions as a starting point adjust. Doddle cannot compete.
Along with this, the promethean clickers just never really worked as a regular integration into a class. They couldn’t be integrated into practice with ease: they were used once in a while at best, and even then with difficulty if the practice was to be integrated in a school. Even Quizlet doesn’t really work quite as well – questions saved on a similar quiz worked on a once simply crash. I didn’t manage to collate questions for students throughout the year in the way that we wanted. That is something to do better. I’m not sure if this is the case…
Gamification works, for certain personality types.
In my classroom, I want to have two dual aims:
1) No idea must fail.
2) We need to better, not because we aren’t good enough, but because we can.
Competitiveness, well-managed, can work.