Ed. Tech. Report

Volume 1 Issue 10

Gamifying Education

I'm a gamer at heart. I can remember so clearly sitting on my grandparent's living room floor on Christmas Day of 1986 and opening a brand new Nintendo Entertainment System. My life was forever changed! I still, at 35 years old, get a thrill when I unlock a new trophy or achievement in my current PS4 video games. To be able to look at my digital trophy collection is very rewarding. . . and motivating as I am constantly looking to see what I must do to earn that next trophy! This type of motivation is what I always desired to see in my students.

The gamification of education is not a new movement; I've been hearing about this concept at conferences for the last three or four years. What I am finding, however, is that it is becoming easier and easier for educators to gamify their classrooms! This gamification could be based on a badge system where students are rewarded with digital trophies and badges for performing certain tasks. Want to create custom badges to begin distributing to students for their achievements? Try Open Badges or ClassBadges to get started. Want to make actual games more of a part of your everyday teaching and lessons? Try Kahoot!, Quizizz, or Plickers. These tools will lead to an energy and engagement level you've only dreamed of!

With the technology we have available in this district, why not meet our students on their interest level? I believe a little gamification may just be what some of these students need to engage in the educational process!



Weekly Poll: What was your first video game system?

I have so many memories tied to video games. I can remember conquering Bowser in Super Mario Bros on many occasions. Most recently, my 6 year old son and I were playing this game a few months back and I conquered it not once, but TWO TIMES. . . IN A ROW! I am certain that legend status was achieved in the eyes of my son that day :)

I cut my video game teeth with the original NES. What about you? What was the first video game system you owned? Click here to let us all know!

Last Week's Poll: Spaces After Periods

Background: I'm 35 years old. To this day, I still say the most beneficial class I ever took in High School was the one semester Keyboarding course during my freshman year. I was taught on a combination of electric typewriters and old Macintosh computers. It didn't matter what device I was using, however, the rule was always the same: Two spaces after a period and all other ending punctuation. This rule became automatic for me in future years. Many of you were taught the same thing. I was curious if the younger teachers among us were taught differently and would have different preferences. The results below show what I found:
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Looking back, "preferred" was not the correct word choice. I should have asked for the "correct" number of spaces after a period. The majority of you agree with how I was taught: two spaces. Going off of the wording of the question, I selected "1 Space," because that has become my habit. Why? I think it comes down to typing and communicating on my phone and tablet, which has influenced my formal keyboarding habits.

Correct Answer: Not that there's a "right" or "wrong" answer to this question, but there is ONE encouraged practice: One space after a period. This is supported by the MLA, APA, and Chicago style manuals. It doesn't say two is incorrect, but that one space is encouraged for formal publications. For those interested in learning where the double space rule originated and why it has changed, it comes down to Monospaced and Proportional typesets. Check out this article to learn more. Whether or not age has any influence on our habits, I don't see any relationship based on the numbers above.

Thanks to all who participated!

Web Tools and Apps - Add A Little Game To Your Class!

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PD Opportunity

Remember, tomorrow, April 25, SimpleK12 will be sponsoring an all-day Webinar. The topic is Using Google For Classroom Collaboration. This event begins at 10am and runs until 2:30 pm. These sessions are EXTREMELY informative. With our impending shift to Google Apps For Education, why not learn as much as you can! Register at SimpleK12.

Contact Me

Want to schedule a coaching session? I welcome the opportunity to discuss how technology can augment, modify, and redefine how students learn in your classroom. Let me know!