Game Based Learninggblfriday), Game Based learning is game play that has defined learning outcomes. In other words, GBL involves using actual games in your classroom that you've selected to reach specific objectives or goals. For example, a Physics teacher might use Portal 2 to work with concepts such as mass, friction, elasticity, and conservation of momentum. A Business or Math teacher might use Lemonade Stand or Coffee Shop to teach micro economic or computational concepts. A social Studies teacher might use games like Win the Whitehouse or We the Jury to teach Political Science concepts.
Game Based learning is not Gamification. You are using actual games in the classroom, be they Epistemic games (educational / serious games), Commercial Games, or Mods of Commercial games. I'll go over some great resources for these games at the end. For now, it's on to Gamification.
|Code Academy Badges gamify learning code.|
You can gamify parts of your classroom, such as my use of the ABI system to make grading more closely resemble leveling-up, or you can gamify your entire course, like Paul Anderson's Science class. Gamification is tricky, because it can easily be gimmicky. Simply replacing the language with which you present things, for example, but maintaining the same old methods of assessment and teaching are not gamification. They're just gingerbread.
There are a lot of ways you can incorporate game design into your classroom without getting into serious coding, or even programming concepts. Gamestar Mechanic, a site that teaches game design concepts through play, allows you teach game design for game design's sake or use it as a tool to teach everything from plot & character development to tessellations. Of course, there are a lot of free tools available to get into more serious programming concepts, such as Stencylworks, Scratch, & even Valve's Hammer editor.
Purists, Naysayers, and RealistsDespite the differences between these three topics, there's clearly a lot of overlap between them. There are purists who would argue that Game Based Learning is where the action is and gamification is a load of bunk. The President says we should be teaching game design, but he doesn't say much about Game Based Learning or Gamification. A quick look at a tool like Gamestar Mechanic, though, reveals an experience that gamifies the process of game design, which is essentially game based learning. Wow, that is as "meta" as it gets. All of these concepts overlap in my class, and I don't believe that they're easily separated.
ResourcesEnough theory, here's some stuff to read, watch, & play with:
Tools & Games
- ARIS - is an open source platform for developing mobile learning experiences.
- Gamestar Mechanic (explained above)
- Teach with Portals- offers free content, information and tools to help educators build innovative curricula.
- Games for Change - Founded in 2004, Games for Change facilitates the creation and distribution of social impact games that serve as critical tools in humanitarian and educational efforts.
- Minecraft Edu - this site actually requires a monetary investment to get your classroom rolling, but Minecraft is epistemic gaming nirvana.
- Playforce - A community built for and by players, parents, and educators to discover and share learning experiences in games.
- Reality is Broken by Jane McGonigal
- What Video Games Have to Teach Us about Learning and Literacy by James Paul Gee
- Jane McGonigal: Gaming can make a better world
- Jane McGonigal: The game that can give you 10 extra years of life
- Gabe Zichermann: How games make kids smarter
- Ali Carr-Chellman: Gaming to re-engage boys in learning
- Classroom Game Design: Paul Andersen at TEDxBozeman
- Gamification.co's Education Page
- Continue Issue #3 (p. 11)
- Valve Developer Community Portal 2 Puzzle Maker
- Gamestar Mechanic Trailer
- Gamestar Learning Guide