Gamification In Education? Game On And Game Over

1367 words - 6 pages

Let’s start with Gamification? That’s a complete misconception on what is gamification all about. Many people think Gamification is a branch of gaming, so what is Gamification really? Gamification is the craft of absorbing the fun and addicting elements in games (Game Mechanics) and applying them into real-world applications.
According to one of a Gamification Guru Yu-kai Chou, gamification is a design process that optimizes for the human or “human-focused design” in the system, as opposed to pure efficiency or “function-focused design” of the system. Most systems are “function-focused” designed to get the job done quickly, however, Human-Focused Design remembers that people in the system have feelings, insecurities, and reasons why they want or do not want to do things, and therefore optimizes for their feelings, motivations, and engagement.
Inside the games there are “objectives”, such as killing the dragon or saving the princess, or in Math Games like DreamBox Learning to learn or practice Math, but actually the main purpose of a game is than to please the human inside, to keep the player happily entertained.
Through games we are learning how to master motivation and engagement. Games have the amazing ability to keep people engaged for a long time, build relationships and trust between people, and develop their creative potentials.
In a nutshell gamification is a way to engage people by making something that’s not a game feel like a game. Gamification is a tool used to meet an objective and in education the goal is to enhance student learning.
In my reflection, I would reflect on the use of one of the online Math programs, DreamBox Learning, to enhance our students learning, particularly in Math.
Our school has been using DreamBox Learning for the past three years. For those who never heard about this program, DreamBox Learning is an online elementary (K-5) Math Program which is individualized for each student by adapting the curriculum just for them. It’s a fun, effective math learning environment and aligns with our school math learning model.
DreamBox Learning utilizes both adaptive technologies and gamification to help students raise their Math proficiency in a series of Math-focused activities presented as games with colorful, playful graphics and personable animated characters, delivered as a Flash application on web browser.
I wasn’t part of the decision why our school chose DreamBox Learning to support our Math program, and at that time I only had little knowledge about Gamification in Education.
Talking purely as parent of 8 y.o and 5 y.o kids, I really like DreamBox Learning, for simple reason, because my kids love it. Even though they don’t do it voluntarily but at least every time I ask them to do DreamBox during their free time, I never receive any resistance from them. If I ask them to choose between DreamBox and other online Math programs such as IXL (nothing against IXL here), they would quickly select DreamBox. I reckon the...

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