017: Learning with Games and Gamification

For the third episode of EdTech September, Nicole talks gaming and gamification. She highlights the vital role it can play in increasing learning engagement, and improving outcomes. She shares her experience with educational gaming as a kid, and how it shaped her future learning path. You’ll learn the difference between Game-Based and Gamified learning and how gamification works to make learning with non-game platforms more fun. You'll also learn how YOU can maximize learning with gamification and games in your own projects.

On today’s episode, I'm going to have some fun talking about games and how we can develop games that people successfully learn with. For any listeners not familiar with the concept of theories, they tie together the different ways that people learn. They identify them as groups known as theories. In this case, I'm discussing and identifying them as behaviorism, constructivism, and constructionism.

In this episode I'm going to talk about games, gamification and how they can help people learn more effectively. I'll highlight some of the key traits of games and gamification. I'll also discuss what goes into designing and developing a good educational game. Lastly, I'll profile some popular educational games out there along the way. Hopefully, you'll go back out into the world with a solid understanding of why and how games can change the world.

Episode Links

Games Mentioned

Number Munchers—Internet Archive
Eat numbers, rack up points, but beware of the Troggles! As I mentioned in the episode, this game helped me learn math at a very early age.

Duolingo—Learn Languages Online
Duolingo is an example I provided of a gamified platform. They teach students to speak foreign languages, with the help of exciting quizzes, speech recognition, and streak bonuses for keeping consistent!

Treehouse—Learn Web Development and Change Careers
Everyone knows how much I love Treehouse! I've even written about why I love it so much on the LVEC Blog. Treehouse uses gamification to teach web development skills, from beginner to job-ready. I'm currently in the top 1% of students worldwide, and they've featured me as a student success story, so I'm happy to answer questions about them in the comments!

Games & Gamification

Infographic: The Gamification of Education—Knewton
A super useful infographic to illustrate different aspects of gamification and EdTech!

5 Key Strategies for Developing Educational Games—EdTechReview
This article had some great information that I used while researching this episode. Give it a read!

Learn More about EdTech!

Educational Technology Course (MOOC)—Udacity
Also available as CS6460 at Georgia Tech, this online course seeks to convey the same information with more convenience! Use EdTech to learn about EdTech. 🙂

Educational Technology Wiki—Udacity
This site, the Wiki for Udacity's Educational Technology course, is a veritable cornucopia of information on the topic of Educational Technology.

MIT Scheller Teacher Education Project (STEP)
Only I would fangirl over this, but this project is heading the pack in Educational Technology and really understanding how learners learn best!

STEP Projects—MIT Scheller Teacher Education Project (STEP)
Check out some of the incredible work the folks at MIT's STEP program are doing, in the form of games and gamified platforms!

Why EdTech September?

EdTech September brings together for LVEC listeners key topics in the field of Educational Technology (EdTech). As a new web developer, you need to know how you learn most successfully, so you can apply that approach to everything you need to learn in the future. You also need to know how and where to best apply your tech skills in the Web Development industry. EdTech September involves both of these topics, by helping students understand their career opportunities in EdTech, and forming a deeper connection between learner and learning style.

What are your thoughts on games and gamification? Let me know:

On Twitter as @lavie_encode

On the La Vie en Code Facebook page

Or, via my Contact page

What you'll learn

  • Effective learning with less cognitive effort.
  • Getting addicted to learning while playing.
  • The importance of ed tech.
  • Understand the difference between gasification and game-based learning.
  • The three fundamental theories of educational technology.
  • Games as an incredibly powerful tool for education.
  • How games can be used in a variety of different contexts to improve people’s lives.
  • Characteristics that make games engaging and entertaining: conflict, collaboration, competition, strategy, chance, theme or story, aesthetics, resources, time and rewards and then levels.
  • Features of gamified platforms: achievements, badges, maybe profiles to display your progress publicly, leaderboards that encourage competition and instant feedback on your knowledge.
  • How gamification can be applied to virtually anything.
  • The benefits of learning with games.
  • The science behind why gamification works.
  • Building your own learning game or gamifying an existing learning platform.
  • The Four Freedoms of Play

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