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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?

Gamification is a GREAT way to reach those digital natives and certainly keeps them motivated and engaged.

What is Gamification?

If you've never heard of classroom gamification, it can be described as:

Feeling motivated to give this exciting strategy a try, I wrote a gamified curriculum unit for the following Social Studies Standards:

6.6c Islam spread within the Mediterranean region from southwest Asia to northern Africa and the Iberian Peninsula. 

- Students will examine the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphates, noting how the introduction of Islam changed the societies and cultures each conquered, blending with those societies and cultures and creating dynamic new Islamic societies and cultures.


What Makes It Gamified?

In this unit, students work towards obtaining their knowledge by completing tasks that are associated with earning caliphate 'coins'.  **Please note, no ACTUAL coins are ever distributed!!!**  Students understand that the coins represent the value of the task, and as a teacher what I've done is secretly level each task based on it's difficulty!!! (Thank you Dr. Benjamin Bloom!)  In the end, the more coins earned, the better grade the student will receive.

How do Students Demonstrate Their Learning?

Response assignments use DIGITAL TOOLS (yay!).  Some tools that I used for assignments were:

Students submit their responses by 'turning it in'  on Google Classroom (Edmodo works great too!!).  For the Google Documents/Google Slides, they just submit their work.  For, Scribble Maps, Venn Diagrams, Timelines, they 'snip' the work and submit the image.

Teachers/students can also skip the digital component and respond via this worksheet or have students print and attach their work:

 Pillars of Knowledge Worksheet

Gamified THAT's