Week 8 Journal

Week 8 Journal 679

This week our essential question was “Which aspects of story and game mechanics will be useful in your class and how might you use them? I say, I was a little overwhelmed by this, since I don’t know much about games. There was so much that Matera offered, it’s hard to know where to begin. I think I would start with the story mode with themes, setting, characters, and conflict. Students can relate to this, as most have some experience with writing in a Language Arts class. I would start small until I got my feet on the ground, like making badges. I think it will take some time to learn but, once I do, the students will be excited and engaged in the lesson that we would be working on.

In responding to others’ blogs, Sarah has a great start to her unit. I like what she quoted here, from Matera: “These mechanics work together to build a custom experience that, when combined, lead to memorable moments in your class.” This is what we want for our students. I wonder about showing the ranks in class. If a student is not doing well, I wonder how that would make them feel. I know some will be motivated but some it may discourage. I will just see how it goes if I try this in my class. Along those same lines, Gerald made the good suggestion to opt out of leaderboards. Some students may not like to have their name posted. I also worry about kids who don’t see their name posted. How will that make them feel?

Kate made a good point here: “Knowing and understanding the needs and motivators of your students is critical.” This is so true! It you don’t know what motivates them, then they are not going to be engaged. It is important to find out what gamer type you have in your classroom as well. She made great points!

Heather has started on a wonderful unit. I wondered if she has experience with games before in her class. I would love to try one, but I am not experienced and don’t yet even know how to create badges to anything like that. It just seems a little overwhelming for me. I know once I learn more, I will get used to it. This is always the case with me and new methods. It is a learning process that I have to go through with the students.

It has been a great week, and I have learned about a new platform, ClassCraft. I am thinking of trying this with one class in particular that has some issue with talking. I wonder if I tried this out on them if it would work. Again this is new, and I am learning as I go. All I know is I can always try it out and, if it doesn’t work, at least I gave it a shot. If it does, then maybe I will see a turnaround in some of my students with this type of motivator.

I look forward to the other presentations that we are going to have, as well as learning how I can use new methods in my classroom.

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