Gamifying Your Classroom
Bring competition and individualization to any content area
What is Gamification?
Start with your TEKS...or whatever standards you are asked to teach
I started with the standards and asked, "How can I use games to engage students?"
- College Preparedness
- Character Development
My experiment with gamification began with those 8 domains. I made a choice that everything I did would have somehow relate to one of those domains. With even a cursory study of the depth and breadth of gamification I decided that I would go with what is called "serious games", i.e., simulations of real-world events pr processes designed to teach problem solving. Check out this interesting article from Forbes. This was as opposed to more "entertainment focused gaming. In other words, we would not just be playing video games in order to learn or reinforce content lessons. (Although, those strategies do have merit.)
Next, I moved to on to skills...
I took a long look at the skills that each of those 8 domains is designed to teach and designed strategies to match. For example, what sort of skills are part of character development? This is where community service projects entered in for me. In order to teach in the domain of character development, I wanted to cultivate empathy and lead students to become interested in planning and conducting community service projects. The outcome was a a project in which students would either conduct a community service event or accumulate community service hours by participating in someone else's event. In the end, I developed about 18 strategies or projects that would be integrated into my lesson plans and curriculum units.
With this strategy, I avoided becoming too distracted from my primary job description by abandoning all sense of vertical alignment. I also made it inherently easier to gain administrative support for my wild imaginings.