Gamified Education Includes Training For Teachers

Gamified Education Includes Training For Teachers

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It’s Mission Possible for 1:1 iPad Use at BHS

Think games in education, and the first to come to mind are those for students. However, gamification is also being employed to advance educators in their profession. Consider Mission Possible, a gamified experience developed at Bettendorf High School in Iowa to promote the implementation of 1:1 iPad use by the students there. The associate principal devised a gamified approach to getting the school’s educators fully up-to-speed as the tablets were to be introduced.

Mission Possible has ten levels. At the initial levels, educators simply learn to use basic communication tools like e-mail. As teachers progress through the levels, they “earn their iPads” and they begin to set up their tablets, learn about apps and gain experience with social media.

At the higher levels of Mission Possible, users have the opportunity to make contributions and give back to the school. Educators that are participating have a chance to add to the missions. In fact, they are even encouraged to develop entirely new missions and publish research done at the school.

Reasons for Success

The success of Mission Possible has been attributed to a number of reasons. First, it is voluntary and non-judgmental. Second, it was created by educators for educators. New participants quickly sense this and enthusiastically jump into the gamified experience.

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Also, teachers enjoy considerable choices as they participate. For example, the fourth level requires ten completed missions before access to level five is granted. However, level four has 40 missions from which to choose. Level five is about social media, but teachers that are not as interested in that topic can go back to the previous level and do more missions there to eventually progress to level six.

Mission Accomplished

Mission Possible offers points, awards and titles throughout the ten levels. Leaderboards allow teachers to compete in teams and collaborate in a supportive environment. Of course, throughout the experience intrinsic benefits accrue as well. Teachers get excited about much more than points and awards. They realize that improved student learning, enhanced professional dialogue and identity building are all benefits of this gamified activity.

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