“Games are an extraordinary way to tap into your most heroic qualities.” - Jane McGonigal, Author of Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World
People enjoy playing video games. People worldwide spend about 3 billion hours a week playing them (McGonigal, 2011). When we play video games we learn, build, collaborate, problem-solve, explore, discover, and achieve goals. We also are deemed heroes or champions for investing so much time playing. What if learning were more like playing a video game? Paul Maglione, in his presentation, Unlocking Learner Motivation in the Age of the Digital Native, highlights ways games motivate and engage students:
- Social- Now video games tend to have social forums or virtual worlds where players interact, allow collaborative playing, and allow players to talk to each other with headsets.
- Engaging worlds- It’s a representation of the world individuals want to be immersed in with visuals, multimedia, popular music, graphics and more
- Goal-oriented- Aim to reach the next level; each level is more challenging, but achievable.
- Learning surrounds us- characters must collect items that help with the journey and must search for these all around them
- Positive stress- learning is difficult but most learners are willing to invest several hours to complete tasks when they can reach an outcome they want
- Teaches us to deal with failure- learners keep trying at a level till they achieve it. They aren’t punished for failing, but are allowed to try again with no penalty.
Check out how to make your learning resemble video games in the slide presentation below.
Make the Learning Resemble Video Games
You don’t have to gamify your curriculum all at once. Try small steps and adjustments. A few ways teachers are gamifying their curriculums are by assessing with points and badges versus grades. Instead of assigning homework, bookwork, and worksheets, send them on learning missions:
Mission: Snap a photo of graffiti you think could be art and tell us through an audio recording why you think it is art versus just graffiti.
Tools: Fotobabble App or visit Fotobabble.com
Points: 10 points for turning it in and 5 points for posting a short reflection in your blog.
Find many more ideas in the bookmarks below. Click on the title to visit that resource. Many are examples of teachers who have gamified their curriculum and offer tips and free resources.