This week you are asked to blog about how you incorporate gaming, gamification, game thinking, or design thinking into your class. How? What are your objectives?
Prior to entering this master's program, I used gaming with my second graders. However, I have incorporated gaming tools, game thinking, and design thinking into my lessons that I've learned from the master's courses.
I use gaming as a tool to flip the learning. As the students play the games, they learn, but independently, and at their own pace. Many games also offer student choice. In addition, many programs differentiate the instruction so that the student is always challenged but not overly challenged. For example, IREADs, which is a phonics based gaming program, has each student start out by taking a pretest that determines where they start in the program. As they master a phonetic concept they move on, and if they don't master it than the program cycles them through the same concept with different games until they do become proficient.
I prefer to use gaming as a learning station. Too much gaming takes away from valuable human interaction, but touches of gaming has numerous benefits.
Some of the objectives/benefits of gaming/game thinking in an educational setting include engaging the student, enhancing their digital skills/literacy, fostering student learning, broadening student choice and voice, and introducing them to real world concepts/applications.
Gaming also allows groups of students to work independently while the teacher can work one on one or in a small group setting with student's who need more scaffolding. Gaming allows the students who are ready to work independently to work at their own pace. The gaming is what attracts the student, however, it is the notion of passing levels, receiving points/gaming rewards that motivate the students. Gaming empowers students who are ready to be explorers of their own education.
Gaming allows teachers to focus on right brain instruction instead of left brain instruction. Instead of focusing on rote, informational, computational facts, which a computer software program can do, gaming allows teachers to focus on group discussion, feedback, and empathy.
Gaming also connects teacher to student because gaming is so prevalent in the lives of youth today. We often associate gaming with youth, however, the games that the youth play were created by the same age group that is teaching them. Hollywood used to be the ultimate entertainment in people's lives. Today, gaming is the ultimate entertainment utopia. Worldwide box-office revenue for the film industry in 2013 was $35.9 billion. Not bad! However, Worldwide revenue for the video game industry in 2013 was $70.4 billion.
Design thinking and design in general has been deeply shaped by these master's courses and the recent book I just read by Daniel Pink entitled "A Whole New Mind". Almost everywhere I turn, I now hear people talking about design.
I have also realized that design is correlated to the person in charge. Whomever is designing, is the person in charge. Everybody else is doing rote, informational, computational work that the designer has no time for. Do you see yourself as the designer or the informationalist?
Daniel Pink says that the informationalists ruled the world from about 1970 to present time, but that the world now belongs to designers. I agree. That is why I am going to take everything I've learned about design and apply it to my teaching and to my Capstone.
The value of information has been diluted by the internet and overseas informational intelligence that can compute data just as well as I any westerner and at a tenth of the cost. What is not diluted in the market place is the right brain, creative, innovative, design that is original in idea and concept. Nowadays, people aren't' looking for someone with information, they are looking for someone with design.
What is gaming & gamification?
According to Daniel Pink, a recent survey indicated that 100% of college students have played at least one video game in their life. Gaming, is what youngsters do. However, I am part of a generation that was once a youngster that got hooked on gaming. Gaming can look like your Grand Theft Auto, or Quizlet, to online poker. Gaming engages, and it is increasingly becoming an everyday part of our lives. Games our accessed everywhere including computers, tablets, t.v.'s, and smart phones. The video game industry made twice as much money in 2013 than did the film industry. Worldwide box-office revenue for the film industry in 2013 was $35.9 billion. Worldwide revenue for the video game industry in 2013 was $70.4 billion. Gaming is the new big Entertainment!
Gamification is immersing Education with Gaming. The "Gami" in Gamification represents Gaming. "Fictation" literally translates to uniting nouns (in this case 'gaming and education'), and the "Ca" in Gamification represents the eduCation.
Right now, I am currently playing no games. For a long time I considered playing games a waste of time, however, my perception of gaming has changed after attending theses courses. I am now interested in designing games. I am interested in reconnecting with my youthful love for gaming, however I do not envision myself playing Grand Theft Auto in the near future.