As I spend more time looking into Gamification I’m finding more and more confusion of its use and the use of game based learning. First off I think think both of them are fantastic and unwittingly I have used both of them in the classroom in the past to great effect. As I big fan of video games and a teacher I haven’t been able to stop my hobby working its way into the classroom and although it has certainly not been a daily occurrence I have at times used Gamification and game based learning to teach, only recently have I come across the formal titles for these methods.
First off Game Based learning (#gbl) is the use of games to support teaching. This does not just mean video games but word games, number games, board games etc. This I’m pleased to say happens an awful lot, largely due to the wonderful amount of educational games available. The Internet is used daily in most classrooms and most teachers have embraced the incredible game based resources online as well as the physical games available to buy to support learning.
Gamification (#Gamification) is the application of game mechanics to a non game situation or activity. At a basic level then this means awarding badges or points for work carried out. Video games have inspired the mechanics but the activity itself does not have to have anything to do with video games.
In education I think both of these hold a huge amount of potential to enthuse and engage learners. Children are spending more and more time playing games and games are getting better and better at drawing in their users to play for longer and longer. If we as educators could inspire that same spirit of adventure, excitement, progress, cooperation and competition that video games then we can dramatically improve the success of the education we offer.