Turning My Classroom Into A ‘Living Video Game’—And Watching Achievement Soar | cool stuff from research | Scoop.it

"The notion that struggling and failing is important to learning runs counter to traditional approaches to U.S. education. In fact, failure and its accompanying 'F' grade stigmatizes a student as unprepared or 'challenged' and is usually seen as a predictor of failure in future grades. In the world of gaming, however, the very elements of struggle, challenge, and failure that discourage kids in the classroom become the primary drivers of engagement and achievement. In 2011, after 14 years of teaching, I decided to transform my second grade classroom into a living video game. The inspiration for this was the book, Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World by Jane McGonigal. McGonigal’s message is that the monotony of classroom routines can be deadening to kids, that individuals are wired to need brain stimulation, and that even the most straightforward games can provide that. However, as McGonigal points out, when they’re interested in something, kids demonstrate a powerful ability to maintain focus on even the most challenging tasks. Case in point: video games, which are so challenging that players fail 80 percent of the time—and yet are still motivated to persevere. If we can tap into even a fraction of this energy and enthusiasm, I thought, then we can effect the kind of educational transformation called for in the 21st century." | by Joli Barker


Via Todd Reimer