Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Gamification Series Part 15: The Next Level

In this final post of the series, I will provide some insights regarding where I think gamification and game-based learning may lead in the not-so-distant future...

Augment Reality Integration

Throughout the year, students asked how our gamifed course could become more active, immersive, and engaging.  They also did not want to progress through missions and levels in front of a computer for long stretches of time.  This is where I think that Augmented Reality (AR) can bring gamification to a whole new level.   First, videos and images are no longer tethered to the computer as they can be "tagged" to any physical location and accessed with a mobile device.  One mission that I never developed but would like to in the future is a type of AR scavenger hunt that would lead students to different locations based upon the decisions that they made throughout the mission.  

AR is already making its way into the gaming world.  At last summer's GIE symposium, I was introduced to the new Google project called Ingress.  The attempt here seems to be the development of a gaming environment that, like many of our courses, is blended between both the physical and online world.  The only different here is that at many locations, those two world converge via augmented reality.  

Gamified Learning Management Systems

I have already mentioned a few platforms (ClassBadges, 3DGameLab, ClassDojo, Classcraft) that are doing a great job developing online tools and environments to help, or developed specifically for, gamified courses. This is the tip of the iceberg.  As more educators recognize the potential for gamification and game-based learning, the demand for a robust, easy to use online platform will rise. It is also apparent that the companies mentioned above are working closely with educators in the field to create the best product possible for students in K-12 settings.  I'm looking forward to great things to come on this front! 


Game-Based Curriculum / Gamified Schools

Believe it or not, this actually already exists.  Quest to Learn is a public middle and high school in New York City that "uses the underlying design principles of games to create highly immersive, game-like learning experiences.” (Source)

I also believe that the rise in mastery learning and proficiency-based graduation competencies opens the door for this type of innovative approach.  If schools begin to move away from "seat time" requirements and instead focus on students' ability to demonstrate competency in specific skills, a self or flex-paced gamified curriculum could serve as an effective type of learning environment.   

*** That concludes the gamification series.  I hope that my reflections from this year at PHS will serve as guidance and/or inspiration for many of you interested in the promise and potential for gamification and game-based learning in the field of education. If you have any questions, comments, advice, or would simply like to connect and chat, please get in touch!  @Mr_Driscoll / thdriscoll@gmail.com