Games and Gamification in schools

Based on the Horizon Report:

  • The culture around digital games is growing, with the age of the average gamer increasing every year.
  • Games can be artistic, social, and collaborative, with many allowing massive numbers of people from all over the world to participate simultaneously. It is also a portable activity due to phones and tablets.
  • The integration of gaming elements, mechanics, and frameworks into non-game situations and scenarios for training and motivational purposes.
  • Gamification as a way to design programs that incentivise productivity through rewards, leader boards, and badges.
  • Massively multiplayer online (MMO) role-playing environments revolutionised game-play by creating vast virtual arenas where participants from all over the world could connect, interact, and compete.
  • Examples: Club Penguin, Dungeons and Dragons online, World of Warcraft and Destiny.
  • Many console based games have co-operative levels where players must also go online to complete missions and earn rewards.
  • Badges are being increasingly used as a rewards system for learners, allowing them, in many cases, to publicly display their progress and skill mastery in online profiles.
  • In their report, Social Inclusion of Youth with Mental Health Conditions, the United Nations also suggests that games and gamification may enable students with mental disabilities to better grasp learning materials and exhibit improved behavior.
  • In a case study published in 2013, SIREN researchers tested the game on a group of 67 children, ages 9 to 12 years old.
  • As the participants experimented with their resolution skills in simulated scenarios, the study team found the approach effective in helping students accurately perceive varying degrees of conflicts.
  • Games that have gained mainstream popularity outside of school are often viewed in a new light when they are placed in an educational context.
  • Minecraft has become significantly popular over recent years. There are no prescribed goals, and players are free to explore a seemingly infinite virtual space and construct or deconstruct their surroundings with blocks of various materials.
  • At the Viktor Rydberg school in Stockholm, Sweden where all 13-year-old students must now take a mandatory course on Minecraft.
  • Here are a few of the lessons learned in the course
    • Environmental issues
    • Getting things done
    • Planning for the future
    • Interactivity
    • Safe online habits
    • Building and making objects using your creativity
    • Computer skills
    • City Planning

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