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#6366632 Jul 09, 2012 at 09:28 AM
19 Posts
Hello everyone,

I have been reading about the gamification of education for quite some time, but since I am not a gamer, I feel that my lack of experience is hampering me. I am a partially retired 2nd language teacher. I now teach one online course through the State University of NY at Buffalo about using the Internet in the 2nd or foreign language classroom. I also teach some small groups of adult ESL and Spanish learners.

My most recent reading was The Multiplayer Classroom by Lee Sheldon. The concepts and case studies in the book are fascinating, but it is seems that to gamifiy a classroom, a lot of gaming experience is necessary. It also seems that MOORGs are the most highly prized types of games. So at the beginning of the summer I bought Sid Meier's Civilization. However, I think fear of appearing dumb online has prevented me from trying it out. (I realize that WOW is the game most raved about, but "warcraft" just doesn't attract me.

Because of my total lack of gaming experience, I may end up being just a lurker, but I appreciate the opportunity to learn just a little bit more about the gamification of education.
#6368153 Jul 09, 2012 at 03:27 PM
82 Posts
Welcome, Maryanne/anciana! I understand that you may lurk, and that's just fine! But I wonder if fear of appearing dumb online isn't more universal than we realize. Isn't it a big issue for ESL students? How do you advise them to overcome it?


Beth Davies-Stofka, Ph.D.
twitter: eirwenes
#6371539 Jul 10, 2012 at 09:03 AM
19 Posts

You are quite right that language learners are often fearful of making mistakes. The important thing to encourage them is to create a friendly environment in the classroom or online. I'm hoping to find this course to be a safe place for me to learn too.

#6372300 Jul 10, 2012 at 12:11 PM
Cognitive Di...
9 Posts
Civilization seems to me a very challenging starting point. You might consider starting with a Facebook game. They are simple, and easily interactive, usually MMOs, and come in every flavor imaginable. If strategy appeals to you, looks at Kingdoms of Camelot. If you like puzzles, look at Bejeweled Blitz or Gardens of Time. If you are concerned about friending strangers, I am sure we have enough players of any game in this MOOC to let you experience the game. Whatever you try, I also suggest keeping a record of what you observe yourself learning. I've learned an unbelievable amount just by paying attention while playing Bejeweled Blitz.
#6372420 Jul 10, 2012 at 12:36 PM
7 Posts
Agreed! There are no "dumb" questions and everyone was a "noob" once. So why not get a little help? Especially here, you're in good company it seems. If you want any help on Civ. Just ask. Start with the tutorial and you should do fine. It looks more daunting than it actually is. And it is extremely useful in the classroom.

Adventure games might also offer a good experience in a language class. If you want to teach about 'tongue in cheeck' the 'Monkey Island' series is wonderful. RPG (off- and online) offer a wonderful hook to keep a journal. Etc.

Delve in there, what is the worst that can happen? One of the wonderful things of games is that you can experiment. That's why I like to use games as well. And most importantly have fun. That is what games are all about :D
History| 21st century Education| edtech| Serendipity| School as 3rdspace| Flippedclassroom|Gamebased Learning| Learning, teaching, curating and designing at UniC Utrecht.

Twitter: @jelmerevers
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#6373625 Jul 10, 2012 at 05:01 PM
2 Posts
Hello Beth! I just wanted to add that I think "The Multiplayer Classroom" by Lee Sheldon is a fantastic read. What I love about it is that is discusses the tenants of why games are motivational, and then how you can apply those ideas in the classroom; no games necessary! I highly recommend it myself.

I'll echo what jelmerevers said too. The wonderful thing about games is that you are allowed to make mistakes, and there are also games to fit almost any taste, so explore and enjoy!

Looking forward to further discussions.
Kalculator (aka Rich Lewis)
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