education levels up! a noobs guide to gamifying your classroom the rewards - earning badges is...

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  • Education Levels Up! A noObs guide to Gamifying your Classroom

    A new way to manage classroom instruction is slowly creeping into the world of education: Gamification. Gamifying simply means turning the class content and the way students learn into a game with a rewards system, quests, experience levels, and healthy competition. Gamifying isnt anything new; businesses and social websites have been using gaming to attract and keep users coming back for years now. Here is a short list of groups already gaming: Facebook Farmville! Need I say more. Starbucks Buy coffee get more coffee Khan Academy Earn badges as you learn math! Google News Earn badges as you read the news! CBS Big Brother Earn rewards and badges for making guesses about the contestants on the show! Western Oklahoma State College Acquire badges in class for completing technology tasks! However, gaming is all around you all the time; you have been participating in games under your very nose! Do you have a member card at a gas station or grocery story? More than likely, the store records your purchases and rewards you with coupons and discounts for spending a certain amount of money. Your credit card rewards you when you use it in certain stores or on certain purchases. You receive a reward in the mail a coupon or discount card. The more you visit or use the service, the more you save its the same concept and it carries easily over into education. Students work and desired behavior is rewarded in ways the students care about. People dedicate hours everyday trying to promote themselves up these virtual scales and reach new levels. Why cant that same system work in a classroom? Which teacher wouldnt want his students becoming as addicted to earning badges in Language Arts, Math, or Science as they are about earning rewards in Farmville or leveling up in Call of Duty. The Basics of Gamification: 1) Badges - These will be the rewards for completing tasks, doing homework, coming to class everyday, etc.These badges are easy and fun to make if you use a little imagination and your resources. Here are a few examples:

    Each badge represents some sort of accomplishment. A badge can represent the completion of a science project, writing a great paper, helping a peer with technology, answering class questions, turning in work on time, or doing all of those things in a single month! All you need is an image and a square canvas to paste it on and you have a badge! Here are a couple FREE online resources for editing your badges: Aviary a great online picture editor with tons of options Paint A free, downloadable picture editing software Here are a few great sites for finding icons and images for your badges: IconArchive Square and ready to roll Grab the 128128 sized images The Noun Project - Nice, clean looking images! DeviantArt Great large images, but youll have to hunt around to find what you want. Youll also have to scale them down. Here is a zip file filled with some of the badges the Education Gamification Group on Edmodo had put together Click Here

    Edmodocon 2011 Presentation Link

    - CLICK HERE -

    http://www.facebook.com/https://www.starbucks.com/card/rewardshttp://www.khanacademy.org/http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/14/google-news-badges_n_899454.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000003http://www.cbs.com/shows/big_brother/ultimate_fan/http://wosc.edu/index.php?page=achievements#19http://www.callofduty.com/http://www.aviary.com/tools/image-editorhttp://www.getpaint.net/http://www.iconarchive.com/http://thenounproject.com/http://www.deviantart.com/http://www.mrdaley.com/Clockwise/ALL%20BADGES%20-%20Begin%20to%20Aug%207%2011.ziphttp://portal.sliderocket.com/AERNY/Edmodocon2011

  • 2) The Rewards - Earning badges is great, but the badges need to come with perks. In younger classrooms, earning a badge may be enough. Kids are so happy to get a sticker on their paper that is all the recognition they need! However, as kids get older, a simple badge or sticker wont cut it. So, the badges need to come with rewards. Perhaps, when a student earns a badge, he also receives a perk or reward: A homework pass Ability to listen to Ipod during a specified class time Find a cozy spot in the room instead of sitting at a desk A point booster on a test like extra credit Or, you could let the badge be its own reward. Many students will want to earn the badges for bragging rights! 3) Leveling-Up Just like in video games, your character can level-up by completing missions, earning points, and collecting things. This is actually a lot like real life. Do a good job and work hard = promotion and pay increase! So, your gaming system should allow the students to level up. What is a Level, anyway? A Level in the gaming world is equivalent to a rank in the military. In the Marines, you start off as a Private, work your way to Private First Class, and, eventually, if you work hard enough, Sergeant Major. You need to design your class in the same way with your own invented (or borrowed) titles. Leveling up can occur a few different ways: a) Badge Bandit Method The student levels up after he accumulates a certain number of badges. For instance, after three badges he moves up a level. b) XP Accumulator Method The student levels up after he accumulates so many XP (experience points). XP is explained below c) A combination of both A and B Maybe, a student needs to receive 100 XP points and 3 badges to move up a level Why should a student care about Leveling-Up?- A few teachers who have been gamifying their classrooms have turned their grading system into a Level System. This means that reaching Level 20 in their new gamified class will earn them an A. Check out the Grading Procedure Section in this college syllabus Click Here! 4) XP Points XP stands for Experience Points and it has been a staple in video games for decades. Your virtual character picks up a gem and earns 10 XP, then walks into the forest and slays a few ogres and piles on 100 XP, but the final boss battle can bring 500 XP if you are savvy enough to bring it down! In the classroom, XP is just another name for the points you are already giving out. A homework assignment could be worth 10 XP, a vocabulary test worth 30 XP and the mid-term project is worth a whopping 400 XP! Options for using XP XP to Class Grade Method At the end of the 9 weeks or semester, you could make your Grading scale coincide with the XP! For instance, if you dish out 2000 XP by the end of the 9 weeks, the student would have had to earn 1800 XP to achieve an A. XP to Badges Method Perhaps, you could design it so after every 100 XP earned, your student receives a special badge. XP to Privileges Method Just as badges can come with a reward, reaching XP peaks is a good way to drive the class as well. Earning a certain number of Xp, the student receives a perk of some kind. Maybe, if the class, as a whole, earns 10,000 XP, you have a video game day! Everyone brings in their Xboxs, Wiis, and PS3! XP to Class Cash Method Receiving a set number of XP may award the student with some sort of Class Cash (call it gold, coins, gemstones, whatever). For instance, if you design your game so after 500 XP the student levels up, he is also awarded with 50 gold coins to spend. You could, instead, allow the student to spend XP if you do not want to introduce Class Cash. Maybe, the student doesnt automatically receive the perks after being awarded a badge or leveling-up; he must purchase them using his Class Cash! This may be better than the student automatically getting it when he earns a badge or levels-up because he will feel more in control.

    http://gamingtheclassroom.wordpress.com/syllabus/

  • What can he spend Class Cash on? you ask Here is the list from above you could have available in your store. Extra Credit Play a video game for 20 minutes during class Listen to Ipod during a specified class time Get to open up textbook for 1 minute during a quiz or test Get 30 seconds of teacher help during a quiz or test A Bathroom pass More XP ! A bag of chips A pencil or notebook paper 5) Quests! - No video game can be without quests! Mario must save Princess Peach. In Halo, Master Chief works her way through alien worlds in an attempt to destroy the Covenant: An alien race bent on interstellar domination. Even puzzle games nowadays have quests. Check out Puzzle Quest Click Here! In this game, you battle great warriors and monsters by(wait for it)matching color-coded balls! So, what does a Quest look like in a classroom? Simply, a Quest can be a class project, a collaborative presentation, the designing of a webpage. Virtually any activity that involves reaching a final, tangible goal. Although class projects can be called Quests! True Quests revolve around storylines. Which leads me into the next section 6) Storylines - Almost every video game you turn on has a storyline. A character has to get from point A to point B for a reason usually saving a princess, a kingdom, or the world. So, if you REALLY wanted to go all out and completely gamify your classroom, the quests need to revolve around a structured storyline a campaign. Here is one I am developing at the moment: Dante Alighieri comes back from his travels through Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven to his kingdom in Italy. (I know, Dante didnt have a kingdom, but in the gaming world, anything is possible) Anyway, he gets back and his kingdom is in disarray. The people he left in charge have been abusing their privileges, the peasants cant read or write, dogs are living with cats! The place is a mess. It is up to Dante, and your class, to put the kingdom back together. The students will have to write letters to the commoners, manage the kingdoms treasury to make sure it is financially sou