I was part of the group which presented on ClassCraft this week. It was wonderful to have Sara in our group, as she has used ClassCraft quite a bit and has a good understanding of how to set it up and run it. She was a wonderful leader as we were putting our presentation together, helping to guide us toward content and organizational ideas.
Overall, I am still a bit underwhelmed with using ClassCraft as a behavioristic classroom management tool. For the record, I am also not a fan of Class Dojo as well for this exact reason. I see both of these platforms as an advanced star chart system, which I do not feel help develop intrinsically motivated students.
I do see the potential for ClassCraft to be used beyond behavior management, as I mentioned during the presentation. While this would require more work on the part of the teacher, I can see how creating a wonderful story and implementing different game mechanics through ClassCraft could really create a fabulous gamified learning environment.
Creating a gamified classroom with all the right elements to meet the varied needs of all the different students in a room is a challenge that would need to addressed with great care. Even starting small, plenty of thought needs to be given to what player types we have, what drives our students, and what outcomes we are hoping to achieve. If we aren’t creating the experience to bring out the best in our students, then we may just be throwing one more thing at them which isn’t going to help them in the end. Create, but create with care.
This week, I read several blogs and saw common themes among many. I wrote on Larissa’s and Heather’s blogs.
On Larissa’s blog, I wrote:
We have a theme in my classroom. It is, “Fair is not always equal.” It is something we’ve been working on the entire year and I think my kids are really starting to understand it at this point. While I don’t think it would make a great starting point for gamification, I do believe that it has its place, such as the example Matera provided of Mario Cart and Leveling Up. Not all students come to a classroom with the same gifts, but they all need to be challenged, and gamification seems like a great way to help facilitate this!
My students (5th grade) also pick their own groups and they have become quite good at choosing appropriate learning partners. Like you, I’ve heard from them that they should work with a friend because there will be too much talking. It is so amazing when they start to realize both their strengths and their weaknesses.
I love Scrat, and I’m not sure there is a character out there who better exemplifies growth-mindset than he does!
On Heather’s blog, I left the following reply:
Time management is always a tricky topic to address. Gamification might be just the way to bring a sense of urgency and fun to the matter. I like how you process as you go, adding or subtracting where you see fit. I honestly believe that your ability to be fluid and flexible makes for great learning experiences or your students!