What Does it Mean to Gamify the Classroom?

Two middle-school teachers will explain The Gamified Classroom for the next Antioch University New England (AUNE) Speaker Series, at 7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 21, in AUNE’s Community Room. The public is invited to this free event.

When students step into a gamified classroom, they all become players in a role-playing game. At Barrington Middle School in Barrington, New Hampshire, Larry Graykin’s English/Language Arts students are adventurers in the Kingdom of Diddorol, and Diane St. Jean’s reading students are members of the Federation of Inconspicuous Time Travelers.  The children create avatars who sally forth and tame creatures (take tests), go on adventures (do free-choice assignments), and go on quests (take on optional, specific assignments).  As they gain experience, they move through levels…and their grade goes up.

Gamification requires no special equipment (no technology is required), can be used with existing curriculum maps, and can easily accommodate Common Core.  Both the Federation and Diddorol were built for seventh and eighth graders, but a game overlay can be created that will accommodate any content and can be used with any grade level.  The students become more engaged, self-directed learners, and they collaborate more willingly and effectively.  More work is turned in on time and fewer students fail. And along the way, the kids have more fun!

In this informal presentation, Diane and Larry will explain what game overlays are and how they work, share some of their experiences as Game Masters, and answer your questions.  Come learn how the motivating strategies that game designers employ can be adapted to classroom use.

For more information, contact Sean Wiley, 603-283-2431, or email swiley@antioch.edu.