Sunday, November 25, 2012

Gamification: Ready or Not!!

Ready or not, here they come! Those digital natives have migrated into our classrooms. Their fingertips poised and ready for swiping, flicking and clicking. Their brains wired for digital notoriety in the form of badges, XP points and leader boards. But are our classrooms ready for them? Can we engage these hypo-electronically stimulated kids?

Courtesy of Edmodo, I stumbled upon a lesser known style of instruction that is beginning to gain some attention. That style is called Gamification. Users in the gamification group in Edmodo introduced me to the concept and generously shared their Wix, Weebly and even Scratch ideas for gamifying their classrooms. They also showed ways to use ClassDojo, GoogleDocs and courageous challenges to motivate their students. All of these examples inspired me to give it a try.

If you haven't heard of gamification, it described as the infusion of game design techniques, game mechanics, and/or game style into anything. These techniques can include: achievements / badges, levels, leaderboards, progress bars, activity feeds, avatars, real-time feedback, virtual currency, gifting, challenges and quests, trophy cases.

Feeling motivated to give this exciting strategy a try, I re-wrote my World War II unit and 'gamified it'.

Here is my gamified site:

In this gamified unit, students are introduced to the premise that they are living in a barren, post-apocalyptic world in which the only currency is knowledge. Their challenge is to obtain the knowledge XP points for survival.

Here's a Closer Look.

First I created a Bootcamp of strategies for students to complete and submit on Edmodo to ensure they were comfortable with turning in assignments, uploading pictures and obtaining .html code to embed into assignment responses.

Here are some bootcamp ideas:

Then, using Blooms Taxonomy and some of my favorite Web 2.0 Tools, I designed an XP scoring system to go along with responses that students can create or write based on their readings. Responses earn XP points based on difficulty. Some examples:

Students submit their responses by 'turning in' their daily assignment via Edmodo. The assignment value (in XP points) needs to be listed in their submission along with the popplet,, penzu, audioboo or whatever item they have created.

Students can also earn Bonus points by answering the 'blitzkreig bonus' questions. For each blitzkreig bonus they can earn a badge.

I'm working on another gamified site for my ELA class. It's a world called Elatima. It's not ready yet, but here's a sneak peak!!

Gamified THAT's using your Smarticles!!