Game based learning or gamification is the use of games in learning. We live in a technological world and both children and adults are drawn into online games. To use these kinds of games to teach and learn is a great way to engage students and to give them an opportunity to practice skills to the point of mastery.
As a college baseball coach we spend most of our time out on the baseball field. We do meet daily in the locker room or they check in with me in my office but while I can integrate things like twitter and google docs into my curriculum, gaming doesn’t fit into the program. I do find the concept of gaming or gamification fascinating and would like to use it with my children. When they arrive home from school they are supposed to read daily for 20-25 minutes, do homework, and spend extra time practicing math facts or concepts they are learning in the current units of study. When the kids get home from school however they are exhausted! It’s hard to find the time to get in the practice in that they are required to do and will benefit them now as student and in the future.
As we have learned this year about how to best learn, engagement as well as practice are important factors in learning. If I can find the right math program, spelling games and reading games, my children can get in the time they need, have fun doing it!
Technology in the Classroom:
Technology in the classroom has been a leap for me. I wasn’t familiar with all of the amazing tools that exist for teachers. At first I was reluctant to brainstorm how to use them in college baseball coaching but after practicing myself using these tools as well as seeing what my classmates have done with them, I have taken a total different stance on this issue. Google docs, youtube, twitter, edpuzzle, wevideo and twitter are tools that directly apply to how I teach. I am constantly sharing information with them but with the use of these tools I can do it so much easier and efficiently. With youtube and edpuzzle I can show players real life examples of good baseball technique, with wevideo I can make recruiting videos to get my players to the next level. Twitter allows me to give game updates to the players as well as the community and parents.
As a coach I am a facilitator and mentor to my players. We provide things like study hall, review their grades weekly and offer them support in their academics. Now that I have had the opportunity to be a student in the 21st century, I can help guide them. I will be a better mentor and can give them more guidance than I ever would have been able to. I am very grateful for that opportunity!