Week 5 Journal 679

Week 5 679 Journal

Our essential question this week was “What research can support or refute Matera’s claims?”

Matera (2015) writes in support of gamification in the classroom:

“Gamification is one of many new and innovative methods that moves us from the old world into the New World. It provides the structure needed to move beyond the regurgitation of memorized content.” Students are already paying games at home so why not bring game playing into the classroom?

Thomas & Brown (2011) point out that the 21st century is “about embracing change, not fighting it. Embracing change means looking forward to what will come next.” There are many points that favor using gamification in the classroom. Teachers should be looking to use this in our classrooms. We need to look to the future and rapidly changing technology. I am going to embrace gamification in the classroom.

In responding to others’ blogs, I like what Matt said here: “So why not try it and if it doesn’t work, change it. When the kids see you try new things and fail or struggle, then they will feel more comfortable with the same kinds of outcomes.” I agree with him on this. That is why I have ordered 15 Google cardboards for my classroom. I have no idea how to use it, but just hearing about it I got excited. I said why not? If all fails, at least I tried. It is a learning process and sometimes you have to learn right along with the students.

Gerald mentioned an interesting fact from Lenhart et al., 2015: “There was an indication that teen boys are more likely to develop and maintain friendships through gaming than girls: 84% of boys, 62% of girls. They build stronger connections between friends, are more relaxed and happy, and feel connected with people even though they are not friends yet.  Interestingly, girls are more likely to spend time with friends daily via messaging and social media than boys.” The message I took from this is that, as we bring these new tools into our classrooms, we have to think about not just students’ economic realities and access to the Internet, but the different ways gender influences how students (and teachers) will relate to and use tools like gamification. I see why it is an uphill battle for teachers, because of what he also said about adults not always being aware of new digital platforms and methods of learning. It will take a lot of work to convince teachers and parents that this is the new way of learning. Their generation learned a different way, so we need to adapt to this new net generation and bring their new way of life into the classroom.

Sarah shared a framework titled “Own it, Learn it, Share it” from Lee & Hannafin, 2016, p.707. This framework has three parts to it:

a. Students develop ownership of the learning process and achieve personally meaningful learning goals;

b. Students learn autonomously through metacognitive, procedural, conceptual, and strategic scaffolding;

c. Students generate artifacts aimed at authentic audiences beyond the classroom assessment.

This sounds like a good framework!

Sara said, “Today’s 21-year old has spent 10,000 hours playing video games, 20,000 hours watching TV, 10,000 hours talking on their cell phone, sent 250,000 emails and spent only 5,000 hours reading. As a result of this exposure to a multimedia environment, their brains have developed to respond to such stimulation and they therefore process information differently than their professors, parents, and just about anyone older than them.” I believe this. When I was growing up, we didn’t have Internet, cell phones, video games, or even TV. For students these days, it is part of their life. They use this every day. I do believe we need new tools to work with today’s youth. I see what Matera is promoting as something that would motivate and excite the students.

It was a great week of reading others’ posts and seeing what they have to share. I look forward to what we will be reading and writing about next.

References

Matera, M. (2015). Explore like a pirate: Engage, enrich, and elevate your learners with gamification and game-inspired course design. Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc. Kindle Edition.

Thomas, D., & Brown, J. S. (2011). A new culture of learning: Cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change (Vol. 219). Lexington, KY: CreateSpace.

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