21 October 2015

Adventures in Learning

As I reflect on my teaching experiences, I admit that very often it took me courage to move onwards, to take the next step, to change paths within the many fields that education offers. For teaching is often like a crab-like movement - one doesn't necessarily move up a ladder, but learning and working within different fields of education becomes a symphony of courage , a symphony of risk taking and implement cutting edge educational approaches, even if not standard practice, even if one is not entirely certain but willing enough to experiment and learn. 

For educators are, inherently, life-long learners. This is not a choice or option. It is a way of being. 

Among the most enticing trends today, is gamification and the different levels one may implement it in classrooms. It is simple enough to award badges and introduce games into a classroom - but first, a rewind: is there a difference between gamification and games?

Gamification is the implementation of game mechanics, as Santiago Montero points out:

"Applying game mechanics to learning is an old educational tool, but a natural fit with smartphone and tablet technology has allowed the idea to flourish. Socialization further drives engagement; earning a higher place on the scoreboard than their Facebook friends is an effective motivator for people with a competitive streak. The more cooperative among us might instead appreciate the fact that after each exercise is a chance to read tips and suggestions from other users. Digital badges and golden tracksuits, in addition to linguistic progress, are the rewards in store for those who persevere with the course, "

Two features stand out immediately - the need to increase learner's motivation while at the same time, recognising and rewarding the learner's efforts and achievements. 

Games, (also referred to as serious games ) aim at  challenging the player to plan strategically to move ahead in the game. (here you can find a variety of  suggestions for Games). 

Pranjalee Thanekar  summarises main differences in this chart below:

Learning requires courage. Learning also requires the playfulness to be adventurous. The Adventure Creator for Education is an opportunity for both. 

The Adventure Creator allows learners to create interactive adventures on their iPads, using an intuitive interface which gives them freedom to create worlds and by adding images and objects. 

In my personal case, I have never had the opportunity to learn how to code. Nevertheless, The Adventure Creator  does allow me to learn, to have the courage to implement new ways of learning for students. It also is a way for me to learn how to use technology to transform learning processes - so necessary in classrooms.

It opens engagement, decision making and collaboration to students as well, because games can be shared.

So this is where you may find me over the coming  days, exercising the courage to learn, being adventurous with learning.

How will you unfold your courage to learn?

Further Suggestions:

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