“Gamification describes the process of applying game-related principles, particularly those relating to user experience and engagement, to non-game contexts such as education (“Gamification in Education,” 2016).” Whether you are young or old and whether you have a cell phone, tablet, laptop, or other electronic device; the one thing that is likely a given is that you like games. The type of games will likely vary greatly, but most everyone has a game they enjoy (even if they don’t want to admit it). Because games are so enmeshed in all of the electronic devices we use on a daily basis, it’s no surprise that gamifying educational experiences would be a successful strategy as well. According to Pandey, there are six benefits to gamification in e-learning, including; a better learning experience, better learning environment, instant feedback, student’s behavioral changes, adaptability to most learning needs, and an increase in performance (Pandey, 2015). Giving students a better learning experience equates to increasing student’s engagement in the learning. In order for any learning strategy to be successful it must first be engaging. Receiving instant feedback in this situation goes both ways. Students receive instant feedback on how well they understand the concept(s) being learned and teachers have immediate access to see how their students are progressing so they can identify gaps and provide targeted intervention for those students that need it. The behavioral changes that occur come in regards to the learner’s behavior and attitudes about learning. Not only are they given instant feedback about their progress, but they are also able to take more control of their learning, which makes them more invested in the process. Gamification can be used in a variety of ways throughout the classroom from being integrated into learning activities to helping teach and manage appropriate behavior in the classroom. Lastly, by creating an engaging learning environment where students are given control of their learning and incentives to achieve, gamification can be a powerful tool to enhance learning (Pandey, 2015).
Gamification in education. (2016, January 26). Retrieved from https://www.learning-theories.com/gamification-in-education.html
Pandey, A. (2015, June 17). Top 6 benefits of gamification in eLearning. Retrieved March 11, 2017, from https://elearningindustry.com/top-6-benefits-of-gamification-in-elearning
Today we are going to discuss the relative advantage of using multimedia in the classroom. Never before have there been so many different multimedia tools available as today. Videos, music, presentation, Power Point, screencasts, YouTube, and the list goes on and on. Many of the different classroom models depend on multimedia content, which use to need to be created by professionals, but can now be created and shared by anyone (roblyer, 214-215). The use of multimedia increases student engagement by providing a medium that allows teachers to present content in more interesting ways. Multimedia also allows teachers to present content in different ways, which provides students with different learning styles the opportunity to learn the content in different ways. Multimedia also provides students with new ways of showing their mastery of content. According to Sosnowski, “A major advantage to using multimedia sources in the classroom is the ability to bring in images, sounds and videos without leaving the room. Computer programs and internet sites can also give students experiences that might ordinarily be unsafe, such as views from scaling mountains in a geography lesson or a dissection of a rare animal” (2017). So often students get to have things described or explained to them, but rarely do they get to experience the content they are studying. Multimedia provides students with a much more realistic experience that can be carefully crafted by the teacher as they explore the content in a meaningful way that provides students with new insights they may not otherwise have been able to achieve through traditional instruction. In the future with the continued work in virtual reality and other technologies, the student experience and interaction with content will only become and more realistic and anytime we can create a more authentic learning experience for our students, the better the learning experience will be.
Roblyer, M.D. (2016). Integrating educational technology into teaching (7th Ed.). Allyn & Bacon
Sosnowski, J. (n.d.). Advantages & Disadvantages of Schools Using Multimedia. Retrieved February 18, 2017, from http://education.seattlepi.com/advantages-disadvantages-schools-using-multimedia-3099.html
The basic suite of word processing, spreadsheets, and presentation software is a great tool for teachers and students as it provides tools that can be used across all of the subject areas, Word processing is a great way for students to write explanations as well as inserting graphics, photos, tables, and other information so students are able to show their creative side. Employers currently expect that employees will know how to use a word processing program and the other programs in the basic suite. Knowing the basic functions therefore is important to getting a quality job. (Davenport, 2015) On the teacher side, word processing tools give teachers more ways to have students show their understanding of different concepts. Some of the word processing tools also provide opportunities for students to work collaboratively on the same document, which allows them to share ideas and try different things so they become the teachers and the classroom teacher is just the facilitator as it should be. Teachers can also use word processing in many ways for the classroom, such as, creating monthly newsletters, permission letters, and any other type of letter that might be needed throughout the year. (Roblyer, 117)
Spreadsheet software provides a tool that allows students to keep track of information and data as well as creating dynamic visuals using that illustrate that data in an engaging way. Students can process formulas on larger amounts of data than they can by hand, which allows them to take project further and show that they understand what the numbers mean and apply that understand to real life situations. Spreadsheets can also give students the opportunity to show that they know how to organize data in tables and charts that can be easily customized to meet the needs of the student for a variety of projects. For teachers, spreadsheets not only have a large number of instructional applications, it is also a great tool for staying organized and tracking data. One of the best uses of spreadsheets that I have found is in tracking formative assessment data. By using a spreadsheet I can easily identify standards and concepts where students are struggling and organize small groups to provide targeted instruction to those students in need. This is especially helpful for primary concepts that are spread out throughout the entire year. It makes it easier to track progress.
Presentation software is the final of the typical basic suite of software programs that are bundled together. As its name suggests, presentation software is great for providing students and teachers with the opportunity to create presentations. This is great for students to create culminating projects that really show what they know. This software offers a great amount of flexibility and not only provides students with the ability to add graphics and text, but it also provides the option to add music and video. This makes creating an engaging presentations a lot easier for students. Presentations also promotes collaboration as students work together to create the different parts of their presentation. This is not just the case for students either. Teachers can use presentation software to increase engagement in their instruction as well. Video Clips, photos, and interactive tools can be easily inserted into the presentation. By having students create a quality presentation you are also teaching them to focus on the most important details of a topic and then support that information with additional details through their spoken words, which allows the teacher to gather more information about what the student actually knows and understands, making it a powerful assessment tool.
Davenport, C. (2015, September 20). Relative Advantage of Using the Basic Suite for Learning. Retrieved from https://cassandradavenport.wordpress.com/2015/09/20/relative-advantage-of-using-the-basic-suite-for-learning/
Roblyer, M.D. (2016). Integrating educational technology into teaching (7th Ed.). Allyn & Bacon
Technology has become one of the cornerstones of our society as it impacts all facets of life as we currently know it. Cell phones, tablets, laptops, watches, Fitbit, GoPro, and the list goes on and on with us just considering the hardware that we interact with in our personal and professional lives. When we then factor in the apps, software, and all of the programs we interact with on all of these devices we can see that technology is vital to many of the things we do. In order for future generations to be successful, it is essential that they are knowledgeable in the use of many of these devices and software as well as how to use them responsibly. It is partly the responsibility of schools to help students become familiar with how to use technology in a meaningful way. In order to support the learning instruction should be supported by learning theory. “There exists a complementary relationship between constructivist practice and technology.” Technology creates a collaborative environment where students are the experts and they learn from each other. Using technology creates situations where students have a variety of ways to show mastery of content due to the flexibility of available tools.
The primary goal of education technology in my teaching and learning environment is to create an environment where “the use of technology is routine and transparent and where technology supports curricular goals.” This creates situations where the use of technology makes sense and does not feel forces or used simply for the sake of using technology. Students learn to use a variety of tools that allow them to express their mastery of content in transformational ways while also becoming good digital citizens.
Becoming a good digital citizen is the key to issues that should be addressed for students in their learning environment. This is a two part problem that needs to be addressed. First, students must become effective users of a variety of technology tools in order to effectively navigate the real world. Everything from banking, job interviews, travel, jobs, and even paying your bill at a restaurant is becoming more and more dependent on technology usage. Students need chances to interact with as many types of devices as possible. This will not only teach them the basics of using the different devices, but also open them to the possibilities available with different devices. More important than being able to use a variety of devices is being able to use them in a positive and responsible manner. Social media and the continuing advancements in technology have created a multitude of ways for people to use this technology in inappropriate ways. Teaching students to be good digital citizens means teaching students how to avoid using technology inappropriately and how to avoid being taken advantage by other people using technology. In order to accomplish this it is important for teacher to model ethical technology use and to also incorporate conversations about ethical technology use into regular lessons where technology is used.
9 resources for teaching digital citizenship. (n.d.). Retrieved January 22, 2017, from https://www.iste.org/explore/articleDetail?articleid=242
Edutopia. (2008, March 17). Why integrate technology into the curriculum?: The Reasons Are Many. Retrieved January 21, 2017, from https://www.edutopia.org/technology-integration-introduction
National Social Science Association. (n.d.). Retrieved January 22, 2017, from http://www.nssa.us/journals/2007-29-1/2007-29-1-15.htm