Within many EdTech circles, the word gamification keeps rising to the surface. It seems like a concept that many of us understand, right? I mean… when thinking about it, off the top of my head I can take an educated guess that gamification means bringing games into my lesson delivery, because it will engage students and they will connect to the relevant delivery. Well… we were in for a treat this past week because we learned that there is SOOO much more behind gamification!!

Jenallee was recently honored to join our friends from Cy Fair ISD in Texas for their EdTech LIVE event. (If you haven’t been to this event, you need to check it out! The tech team at Cy Fair did an AMAZING job preparing and offering participants a fun day of learning that was full of ingenious ways to use tech in the classroom! In preparing for this event, we researched the “why” behind gamification. Our minds were blown by the content we found about why gamification should be implemented in our lesson design.

In exploring the ISTE article “5 Ways to Gamify Your Classroom” by Michele Haiken, this statement succinctly sums up gamification 👉 “Gamification is about transforming the classroom environment and regular activities into a game. It requires creativity, collaboration, and play. There are numerous ways to bring games and game playing into the classroom to promote learning and deepen student understanding of subject matter.

To incorporate gamification into your classroom, the lesson designer is required to creatively design content while connecting to relevant topics with meaningful demonstrations of learning. Though exploring gamification in education we ran across this ✨AMAZING✨ Ted Talk all about gamification! 👇👇👇

To summarize this amazing talk, we wanted to share some of the key thoughts we are holding onto and adding to our understanding of the learning process. When kids game today they are multitasking, communicating, collaborating, problem-solving, strategizing, and more. These skills are all used to build neuro plasty. This is the gray matter that appears in your brain from learning. When people learn new skills like juggling or another language, gray matter appears. This increases our fluid intelligence and helps us problem solve. Gabe says all this so much more eloquently and explains it all with research! (again, we encourage you to watch the video 😂) To oversimplify for our brains to process this knowledge, Gabe shares 5 things people can do to increase their fluid intelligence aka problem-solving skills.

  1. Networking
  2. Seeking Novelty
  3. Challenging Yourself
  4. Think Creatively
  5. Do Things the Hard Way

Gabe explains that all 5 of these are represented in video games!

He goes on to explain that gaming produces dopamine. As you are challenged, you work hard to overcome it and you are successful, you produce dopamine. This produces a reincforcement that makes you want to keep going back for more of this type of experiance.

Gabe shares the story of Ananth Pai. Ananth equiped his classroom with video game systems and taught them math and reading. In 18 weeks, Mr. Pai’s class went from below thrid grade level to mid 4th grade level!! 🤯🤯🤯

The kids from the class say 2 things: 1) Learning is fun and 2) Learning is multiplayer.


So now to address the question we all have… How do we bring gamification into our classrooms?

Here are our top 12 applications for creating games and finding games for your classroom!

  1. Genially
  2. Buncee
  3. DeckToys
  4. Fliphunt
  5. Quizlet Live
  6. Blooket
  7. Quizizz
  8. MinecraftEDU
  9. Gimkit
  10. Whiteboard.chat
  11. Wordwall.net
  12. Slidesmania

FAV Game Features

Genially

  • Some Free Templates
  • Tons of Templates in the paid version
  • Embed in OneNote 💜
  • Share easily with a link
  • Breakouts, multiple choice, true false, TONS of games!!

Buncee

  • 3 Free
  • Great for sorting games
  • Templates in the ideas lab
  • Embed in OneNote 💜
  • Great community with great ideas!

Deck Toys

  • Learning paths
  • Games easily built within Deck Toys
  • Import Quizlets
  • Embed in OneNote 💜
  • Teams integration
  • FREE limited number of decks

FlipHunt

QuizletLive

  • Team game (grouped by the game)
  • Game play based off of time and accuracy
  • Different answer options on each players device, so everyone has to participate and communicate
  • Add to Teams top tab 💜
  • FREE
  • Join with link

Blooket

  • Create game set of questions and answers
  • Select game type from multiple different types of games with your set of questions
  • Students can have random names, no log in necessary but possible to create student accounts
  • Students can select their game avatar
  • Students answer the questions as many times as possible correctly within a certain set of time
  • Questions on student devices
  • FREE limited number of games
  • Join with link or code
  • Add link to Teams top tab 💜

Quizizz

  • Create a game set of questions and answers
  • FREE – super mode paid available for some features
  • Questions on student devices
  • Challenge on time and accuracy
  • Read aloud mode
  • NEW features: Team mode, test mode, teacher paced mode, adaptive question bank, Lesson creator
  • Add to Teams as an Assignment or top tab 💜

Minecraft EDU

  • TONS of pre-made worlds and lesson plans connect to TEKS
  • On both iPads and computers
  • Add to Teams as an Assignment or top tab 💜
  • Use Flipgrid to record screen to share creations and learning

Gimkit

  • Free aspects
  • Read to me
  • Bank of kits (questions)
  • 11 different game modes
  • Powerups and handicaps

Whiteboard.chat

  • FREE
  • Dice game creation
  • Bingo game creation
  • Spinner
  • Upload game boards
  • Group boards or individual boards

Wordwall.net

  • 18 different game types
  • 5 FREE
  • Share with a link
  • Add link as a top tab in Teams 💜
  • Templates and themes

Slidesmania

  • 14 game templates
  • Powerpoint slide game templates
  • Embed PowerPoint in OneNote 💜
  • Teams Assignment or top tab 💜
  • FREE

It’s your turn!

Now go and be a different kind of awesome!  We can’t wait to see all of the different ways you incorporate gaming into your classrooms! Share your ideas, experiences, and thoughts with us!

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TheJenalleeShow

Jeni Long and Sallee Clark are Instructional Technologists with Eagle Mountain Saginaw ISD. This dynamic duo, known as #Jenallee, is passionate about technology integration and making learning accessible & fun for all! Between the two of them, they have presented across the 26 schools in their district, at their Regional Education Service Center, FETC, TCEA, TCEA for Tots, & Central America. They are both MIE Experts, MIE Trainers, Ed to the Max Consultants, and Flipgrid Ambassadors. Jeni has served in education for 20 years as a 6th grade Math Teacher, 7-12 ELA Curriculum Specialist, Technology Integration Specialist and a Science Curriculum Specialist. Sallee has served in education for 14 years as a Pre-Kindergarten teacher, Elementary Librarian, K-12 District Librarian, & Instructional Technologist.

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