This post was written by Contributing Writer Erik van Mechelen
The value of reading
With non-fiction, I usually read quickly (scan), apply what I’ve learned, then come back later as needed to refresh. I prefer to learn by doing. This is the case for my education in gamification, too (I built an iPhone app instead of reading too much about it.)
For me, books are just a great way to see how others have done it and test against your own approach.
I borrowed my brother’s copy of The Lord of the Rings from his bookshelf. I was nine years old. Ever since, reading has been my favorite way to consume content. With a book in hand or on screen, I can read as fast or as slow as I want, mark the pages, save comments for later, and return to the book when needed. (I still think reading is one of the biggest level-ups any parent can give their child. And I believe that many of us can improve our reading ability and critical thinking well into adulthood.)
Continue reading 5 Books that Welcomed me to Games and Gamification
Written by Christine Yee
Learning should be fun. However, this is not the experience of most kids in conventional schooling systems. Reading and math can be frustrating for a child who does not understand the underlying concepts or the larger picture of what they are learning. In many cases, students are structurally encouraged to just rote memorize information and simply go through the motions by following the school curriculum. Without establishing the right building blocks and foundations for comprehension and critical thinking, school can become even more daunting as courses become harder as the student rises through the grade levels.
However, by integrating imagination, creativity and game mechanics with the desired information, knowledge can come to life in meaningful ways. Compared to traditional grading systems, this offers a far more effective way to inspire the core drives of Core Drive #2, Accomplishment & Development as well as Core Drive #3, Empowerment of Creativity & Feedback.
Immersive game environments can incorporate visual, auditory, and tactile modes of exchanging information with players, which creates an interactive learning environment where engagement is key to success.
The rewards gained from feeling an internal sense of real achievement and having the ability to creatively solve and master challenges becomes far more meaningful in this type of learning environment.
And with games, it is also possible to effectively utilize other forms of motivation such as Core Drive #4, Ownership & Possession and Core Drive #5, Social Influence & Relatedness to further enhance the experience of players and add a greater sense of personal meaning and significance to what they are learning.
Here are five examples of educational games that are transforming the way kids are now learning in school.
Continue reading Five Educational Games You Wish You Played In School
Most of you probably know of at least one family with a child on the autism spectrum. The current prevalence rate has been estimated to be about 1 in 68, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Because the range of symptoms varies so widely, it can be difficult to quickly describe what this condition is in a way that applies to all children on the spectrum (contrary to public perception, autism can be variously expressed in different people).
Generally, these children have speech and social deficits. Tantrums can be a common expression because they lack the communication skills to communicate their needs and feelings.
While some show extraordinary aptitudes in certain areas, many have trouble learning in the same way as their non-autistic peers. Therefore, teaching has to be highly specialized to accommodate the unique ways these children take in and process information. Proper educational tools and strategies can help these kids better integrate with social settings and even the world around them.
So how can Gamification help?
According to Natalie Webber, M.S, “The iPad has become a great tool when working with students on the autism spectrum because it gives them the ability to control a piece of their environment and an opportunity to communicate.”
The number of apps being developed for autism spectrum children has soared due to the high demand for such tools. Here are ten that are highly recommended.
Continue reading Top Ten Apps To Help Improve the Lives of Autism Spectrum Children
Gamified Education for a better future
In case you missed in, last month I was in Norway doing a speech for the University of Adger on Gamified Education.
Many of the slides you will find similar to my past presentations, but there are some twists and turns that fit better into the education aspect.
Also, my slides also dive into my content of Lifestyle Gamification, which would be the topic my second book “10,000 Hours of Play” focuses on.
Some Insights in Gamified Education
I actually think there are some great insights that came out when I was creating these slides, including how education shifts our intrinsic motivation to learn into extrinsic motivation to get the “acceptable grades” (which are different for everyone, how educators will likely become facilitators and cheerleaders instead of teachers in a world where students can get more information than what the educator knows faster than she can say it, and how education should reward students for who they are and how they are unique, instead of shame them for who they are not.
Creating exams that students are dying to take
One of the key things here, is that many educators believe there is a lot of Core Drive 2: Development & Accomplishment in the current school and grades system. However, if that were the case, students would feel extremely excited when there will be an exam, because that would be a new opportunity to feel developed and accomplished!
Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Students (even good students!) abhor tests and do it just because they have to. Very few people look forward to tests.
If we successfully gamify education, then “assessments” will be seen as an exciting opportunity for students to unlock new materials and skill-sets instead of always being a drag.