Saturday, February 4, 2012

Research on Gamification from Katie Salen, Charles Leadbeater and Grade 3 students.

Gamification is one of the new buzz words and very “hot” in marketing – from points, to badges, to levels, to leaderboards to challenges, games engage the new players in today’s markets.  Games are increasingly being used to solve societal problems from health care issues to traffic safety.  In Sweden, after implementing a game where cameras captured and rewarded drivers who were keeping to the speed limit, there was a 22% reduction in driver speed after the first week of implementation.  At the Institute of Play, researchers are partnering with schools to redesign education through game play.  Games, Director Katie Salen says, "are designed as a place to be successful.  Students don’t necessarily think that school is meant to do this."

Imagine a place designed for success.  And designed for the most vulnerable students to find success.  Charles Leadbeater looked at schools in the most impoverished locations of Brazil, Africa and India to discover how educators in these places designed schools for success.  His discovery:  they look nothing like school as we know it.  Imagine, he says, “an education system that started from questions, not from knowledge to be imparted, or started from a game, not from a lesson, or started from the premise that you have to engage people first before you can possibly teach them.”

Recently I met with our own local researchers – grade 3 students who were using iPads in their classroom for six weeks.  Their findings?  Games help you learn.  Let’s do more of it!

1 comment:

  1. Well, Kindergarten teachers won't have a problem understanding "gamification", that's all we do! It's too bad that there is such a shift as students enter the older grades -- things get too abstract too quickly. Increased use of manipulatives in math in the older grades, word games, and using technology (i.e. making movies) to achieve our goals is the way of the future.