Gamification in the Classroom!
Do you teach with games? Do you use some gaming principles to engage students in ways they might not expect in the classroom?
Gamification is nothing new in education. Teachers have been using mock gameshows, scavenger hunts, bingo cards, and plenty of other games that might be considered “old school” for decades. And now with the online world at our fingertips, teachers can make great use of quiz sites like Kahoot and Quizziz. Adding a dash of competition to the school days can be just the thing to gets students’ engines revving and their minds popping.
But why do games work so well in education? Is it just because they’re fun? That’s surely a huge part of their popularity, but games also work on a deeper neurological level. Playing games is a sure way to promote serotonin production, among other brain chemicals. The result is a pretty great emotional response when it’s time to dive into a game.
Plus, the inherent nature of games makes them addictive. There’s always a next step, a bigger challenge. Kids thrive on manageable challenges! While the thought of mastering long division might be daunting, a race to see who can complete a page of division problems is a fun, bite-sized test of skill.
Playing games in the classroom can be a lot of fun, but you know what else sparks kids’ interest? Designing their own games. Any unit of study lends itself to a day of game-making, whether students design and build game boards out of cardboard, write questions for a classroom quiz, or create a storyboard for the next hit video game. Creating a game requires mastery of the content, making this a terrific learning exercise.
Want a jump start getting your classroom games going? Check out VIDEO GAMES! Try the first chapter.