5 steps to integrate play in the classroom

The use of play in the classroom is a very popular movement. In English, we speak of "gamification". Here are five steps to promote successful pedagogical integration!

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The use of play in the classroom is a very popular movement. In English, we speak of " gamification '. Here are five steps to promote successful pedagogical integration!

The play-based approach strives to tap into people's natural desires for competition, self-actualization, social status, self-expression and altruism.

One of the basic strategies of this move is to reward players who complete desired tasks. In the early 2010s, the first initiatives were put in place by some companies. The purpose of these experiences was to build customer loyalty or increase it. For example, Starbucks implemented a system with Foursquare. Every time a customer visited a cafe, they received a badge that confirmed their visit. After a certain number of badges, the customer received a discount coupon to reward them. The integration of the game into marketing works very well!

The education community is also part of this movement. For example, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation helped set up the school Quest to learn, At New York. This school is run by a video game designer, and teachers work with designers who help children develop projects. The Gates Foundation also supports the project Khan Academy, a site that offers educational video content. Students have access to exercises that unlock badges and level up. Another example is that of a teacher from Stockholm, Sweden, who uses the game Minecraft to introduce students to urban planning, environmental issues and sustainable development.

Closer to home, the Quebec product Netmaths allows students to accumulate gold stars which grant them access to special missions. Some schools like the Sainte-Anne de Lachine College and the Collège Français de Longueuil are even starting to set up video game creation programs.

All this is very interesting, but how, concretely, integrate the game in the classroom?

There is no magic recipe, but reading the article How To Gamify Your Classroom of the Edudemic site gives some interesting leads. Read the article to find out more.


1) start at the end

It is important to start with the end goal in mind. What will the students need to know or achieve? What do they need to become proficient at?


2) Don't forget the brain!

What is the cognitive process linked to the final educational goal? The taxonomy of Bloom revisited proposes for this purpose the creation, the evaluation, the analysis, the application, the comprehension and the memorization. Clarifying the type of process will help guide edutainment decisions.


3) Choose a game

Once the end goal and the cognitive process are clearly identified, it is time to choose a type of game. For example, a quiz is perfect for memorizing concepts in science and technology. To further reflect on this subject, the book The Gamification of Learning of Karl M. Kapp is a good reference.


4) Develop a game

Once the type of game to integrate has been chosen, it is necessary to determine whether we will opt for an existing game or if we will create one from scratch. The creation process takes a lot more planning, but it can become a highly interesting classroom project.


5) Play!

It is not necessary to have a complete gaming environment to reap the benefits of this classroom approach. Setting up challenges in the learning process is already an element of the game that can motivate students. There are no limits, except that of imagination and creativity ...

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About the Author

Sebastien warthttp://www.edulogia.com
Director of teaching and educational innovation at Saint-Paul College. A specialist in technological integration, Sébastien was an IT and Web optimization consultant at the FÉEP as well as an educational consultant in technology integration and a teacher at the Collège de Montréal.

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