During my foray into student engagement, I stumbled upon an app called Pear Deck. A few years later and Pear Deck has redefined itself, and what it offers is pure differentiation, that both blends the learning, and offers student’s voice. As much as we try to build and design around the “student-centered” classroom, there are those pesky moments in which direct instruction makes sense. As a review. To build background. To emphasize importance or tell a neat story that adds clarification to the topic being discussed. But what makes direct instruction difficult, is finding ways to UP the engagement factor. To make it interactive. Too often, these moments leave the classroom in a daze, with no interaction between student and teacher, and minimal feedback for the teacher to use to help modify the lesson or unit. Continue reading “From MY Time to OUR Time”
I’ve never been one to shy away from trying something new. The thought of failure doesn’t scare me, so when I first began my foray into “gamification”, my ultimate goal was to seek new and exciting ways in which I would ultimately better engage students in my classroom.
So I began foraging for resources and asking questions… What new and exciting things are out there? What are other teachers doing in their classrooms? What are students into that will help me gain their attention in class? I read blogs… numerous blogs, conducted a vast amount of research, read about varying pedagogies, and reached out to a few unsuspecting educators who had begun their own transition to “gamification”. I don’t want to go off on a tangent, but this part of the research- “reaching out to a few unsuspecting educators” scares people, and I’m not sure why…
When I was a kid, I remember reading a series of books called The Lone Wolf Series. These books had me hooked. as it is written in second person, placing you, the reader, in the role of protagonist Lone Wolf himself. This wasn’t your normal book. This was Dungeons and Dragons (for the old school gamers out there), meets Zelda. Nerdy? Maybe… But it drew me in. What hooked me was the constant opportunity to make my own choices, each one changing the overall course/direction the story would take, and ultimately, the final outcome of the book. It was a game interwoven in the contextualization of a novel. Imagery? Check. Characterization? You bet. A dignified plot? Of course- and one that spanned a whopping 28 books to boot.
I had the opportunity to present last week at Montclair State University’s Emerging Learning Design Conference on Gamification in the Classroom. I want to first thank Chris Aviles for contacting me about taking over this presentation for him as he got called up to the Big Leagues to attend a conference for the Department of Education. Thanks Chris and way to go!
The Emerging Learning Conference was a wonderful experience. For those of you who do not know, the Emerging Learning Design Conference is a showcase of innovation in education, as well as a way to engage in pedagogy and how technology can better enhance or transform it.