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.