Introducing Game Based Elements in Today’s K-12 Classroom

Too often as adults, we hear things like, “Life isn’t game,” and likely just as many times, we think for a split second that it should be. Research has shown that game-based learning increases the amount of knowledge and skill retained through active participation and experimentation in learning. Game-based learning is teaching through gameplay, a method of testing an action, reviewing the result, forging a theory, and testing again; but in this case, it’s fun!

Games-based learning because it isn’t your parent’s classroom

Classrooms of the 21st century aren’t just slightly different than those of 10 years ago; they are vastly different and changing technologies keep them fluid and in need of constant updating. Yet with all the advancements in science and technology, there is one thing that remains constant, the desire to play.

Playing is like brain candy; the mind devours information in game-play, processing it, driving us to learn just to get better because we are competitive creatures and we derive joy from success.

Professional development and game-based learning

As a teacher, one of the greatest achievements in the classroom is seeing students evolve to a point where they not only understand but seek to be involved. You’re a teacher, and that means you understand the importance of learning, with Intro to Gamification you can earn PD credits while adding a new tool to your teaching arsenal. You’ll learn various ways to package and present curriculum content that makes learning an actual game.

The very essence of game-play requires one to think strategically; when students use critical thinking and strategy skills they begin to make connections they might not otherwise see. Simulation games are especially good for getting students to think critically and create a plan of action; they use cognitive thinking skills important to learning how to manage, to communicate, and be diplomatic.

Students aren’t the only winners when education involves game-play in the classroom

Games have rules, and whether the players have to learn rules that are already in place or they have to create the rules themselves, they must take reason, fairness, and accomplishments into consideration. Below are some of the ways game-based learning gets your students involved and keeps them engaged:

  1. Collaboration and compromise – games that involve teams and team-building skills force students to find ways to achieve the goals together. Communication is key in team situations, all members must learn to rely on each other and provide support wherever it’s needed.
  1. Competition – whether students are trying to win as individuals or in teams, they are more likely to practice for improvement, learn persistence through trial and error, and construct frameworks for learning as levels increase in depth and difficulty. A well-designed game allows for learning to be tailored to each student’s level of understanding while still encouraging them to master each step as they go.
  1. Motivation – games usually have immediate consequences when rules are broken, which is an excellent form of feedback. Scores and evaluations, much like points and items acquired in video games, can provide incentives to learn more and do better.

Teachers become more effective with online STEM PD courses, students stay engaged more fully in their learning, and schools experience improved standings through better test scores and lower drop-out rates.

So get ready to gamify!