Gamification is the process of using games and game design to aid students in learning how to solve problems. Gaming sounds great, but how can you incorporate it into your classroom? Well, using class badges just might be one way for students to make connections to their own academic learning. Using different programs like SumDog, Istation, and Freckle are all great ways to engage students with content, but there still seems to be a disconnect from the games that they play to their grade level assessments. Badging might just be the tool that can help bridge the gap for students. Earning academic badges is engaging and might just be the perfect way for students to monitor their academic growth.
Jane McGonigal’s TED talk was inspiring! I love how she talked about using gaming to solve real world problems. This has inspired me to look into different game options for a few science units that I am working on. After teaching about animal endangerment, I was disappointed in my Earth Day clean up activity. Not even one student showed up for an activity that they seemed to be excited about. Finding a game that allows students to help our Earth through gaming might have a greater impact for my third graders and create a lasting impact. Gaming might just be the way for students to think that school if fun! If I could get the test results that Gabe Zichermann spoke of during his TED talk, I’m sold! The results that he spoke of showed almost 2 year’s growth in reading and math in just 18 week. That is amazing!!!
Where do you see transliteracy? You see it in 21st century classrooms. Teachers are now starting to use technology more and more every year. Teachers are finding new ways to deliver content, engage students, and use adaptive programs for differentiation within a classroom.
I looked at the Power of Video in the TesTeach website. This was a great reminder of how to use educational videos as a way to connect content, engagement, and motivation all at the same time. The Power of Video suggests that teachers gather content related videos that are 5 minutes or less in length. Finding short videos may pose a problem for teachers. These videos become a reward for the class based on their behavior. They select a video to watch from the bank of preselected videos. I can already see how powerful this strategy can be in science. When teaching a unit that is social studies based, finding engaging video might show to be more challenging. While this is a great brain break activity, it should also be connected into the unit that you are teaching. I plan to create a hyperdoc with links to videos for each GLAD unit that I create. This is a great addition to unit that I have already started working on.
I chose to look at Voki, Vibby and Adobe Spark. The Voki website allows you to create avatars that you can use within your teaching. I plan to use an avatar to deliver comprehension questions and a google form to grade them. The biggest barrier with this website was figuring out how to import them into documents. It is doable, it just takes a little time. Overall, there are a lot of great how to videos that walk you through each step.
I also looked at Vibby. This website was very frustrating because I tried searching for videos that would relate to the standards that I teach and I came up empty handed. Needless to say, I was not impressed with what videos I had to choose from. I then decided to look at Adobe Spark. Here I was able to create my own video using pictures and individual voice recording for each slide. I did have a few problems creating my video. For some reason, I had multiple voice recording for the same slides when I would view the video. When I tried to delete the voice recording it fixed the problem and there was only one voice until I shared the link. Then those slides didn’t have any voice recording. I ended up deleting the slides and starting over. I also had trouble when adding my own picture. While saving, the program automatically switched my picture from landscape to portrait, so that is why I have a sideways picture in my video. Another note is that your link doesn’t automatically update, so if you make changes to your presentation you have to manually update it. Overall, I think that my students will be excited to learn about how they can help our environment.
Students should not just be ‘watching’ a video for homework or classwork. They need to be interacting with the content by answering questions throughout the video, using a graphic organizer for note taking or completing a Google form/quiz at the end of the video. These strategies help bring meaning into the video that you are assigning.
The idea of sense making and the TPACK framework is becoming clearer as I move through my own learned curve. Before starting this program I tried to implement technology into my classroom, but I found it extremely frustrating. How do I teach third graders how to use technology in the classroom? I am now learning how to effectively incorporate technology beyond paper and pencil or white board work. Technology is not only the context in which I teach, but the motivator for my students to succeed.
This process of designing a prototype has been challenging for me. I know what I want to achieve but I didn’t know how to address this huge task. Asking me to create something when I am still learning seemed to be a huge hurdle that I had to overcome. With guidance during my one on one appointment, I now have an idea of how to expand my project. Today I have spent all day working on school work and I finally had time to play around with technology to determine what my final piece could possibly look like. Using avatars as a different way to assess students is fun and can easily be added to Google forms or as an assignment in Google Classroom. I now have a direction that I feel confident in creating a final product for my Capstone.