Within many EdTech circles, the word gamification keeps rising to the surface. Are you adding gamification activities into your lessons?
Within many EdTech circles, the word gamification keeps rising to the surface. It seems like a concept that many of us understand, right? I mean… when thinking about it, off the top of my head I can take an educated guess that gamification means bringing games into my lesson delivery, because it will engage students and they will connect to the relevant delivery. Well…there is SOOO much more behind gamification!!
Jenallee was honored to join our friends from Cy Fair ISD in Texas for their EdTech LIVE event. In preparing for this event, we researched the “why” behind gamification. Our minds were blown by the content we found about why gamification should be implemented in our lesson design.
In exploring the ISTE article “5 Ways to Gamify Your Classroom” by Michele Haiken, this statement succinctly sums up gamification 👉 “Gamification is about transforming the classroom environment and regular activities into a game. It requires creativity, collaboration and play. There are numerous ways to bring games and game playing into the classroom to promote learning and deepen student understanding of subject matter.”
To incorporate gamification into your classroom, the lesson designer is required to creatively design content while connecting to relevant topics with meaningful demonstrations of learning. Though exploring gamification in education, we ran across this ✨AMAZING✨ Ted Talk all about gamification!
Summing it Up!
To summarize this amazing talk, we wanted to share some of the key thoughts we are holding onto and adding to our understanding of the learning process.
When kids game today, they are multitasking, communicating, collaborating, problem solving, strategizing and more. These skills are all used to build neuro plasty. This is the gray matter that appears in your brain from learning. When people learn new skills like juggling or another language, gray matter appears. This increases our fluid intelligence and helps us problem solve. Gabe says all this so much more eloquently and explains it all with research! (again, we encourage you to watch the video 😂) To oversimplify for our brains to process this knowledge, Gabe shares 5 things people can do to increase their fluid intelligence aka problem solving skills.
- Seeking Novelty
- Challenging Yourself
- Think Creatively
- Do Things the Hard Way
Gabe explains that all 5 of these are represented in video games! He goes on to explain that gaming produces dopamine. As you are challenged, you work hard to overcome it and you are successful, you produce dopamine. This produces a reinforcement that makes you want to keep going back for more of this type of experience.
Gabe shares the story of Ananth Pai. Ananth equipped his classroom with video game systems and taught them math and reading. In 18 weeks, Mr. Pai’s class went from below third grade level to mid-4th grade level!! The kids from the class say 2 things; 1) Learning is fun and 2) Learning is multiplayer.
In what ways can you challenge yourself to bring gamification into your classroom?
Contributor: Sallee Clark
Sallee is an Instructional Technologist for Eagle-Mountain Saginaw ISD near Fort Worth, TX. Sallee co-hosts The Jenallee Show on YouTube.
Follow Sallee on Twitter: @SalleeClark