Key points:

Students don’t have to be video game fanatics to appreciate a gamified classroom lesson. When teachers turn a lesson or tough-to-teach concept into a motivational gamed or use a fun competition to teach new concepts, students become immersed in their learning and are often more engaged–meaning they’re more likely to retain information.

Still, there’s an art to gamifying a lesson and ensuring that students are actually learning instead of just playing a game for points.

Here’s how educators across the country are using tools–from Minecraft: Education Edition to Roblox and easy-to-access online resources–to gamify their lessons and help students engage with learning.

1. Carrie Rosenberg, a fourth grade teacher at Community Christian School, notes that gamification is one of the biggest education trends right now. According to ISTE, “gamification is about transforming the classroom environment and regular activities into a game.” Many students want more than just good grades from school–they want something physical or immediate. Rosenberg uses Gimkit, Kahoot!, and Prodigy to gamify her instruction and motivate students. Learn more about her instructional strategies.

2. Games are part of many people’s lives–so why not use them to benefit students when teaching? Abigail Beran, a fifth grade teacher enrolled in a masters program in education technology, knows that her students are more likely to engage in an educational activity when it is gamified–and that they’re even more likely to do so when the activity is gamified with technology. There are a variety of reading and math apps and websites that cater to gamification, and even provide the opportunity for differentiation. Beran uses tools including Raz KidsDreamscapesProdigy English, and IXL language arts for English/language arts gamification, and uses Prodigy MathMath PlaygroundPet BingoSushi Monster, and IXL math for gamifying math. Discover how she integrates these gamified tools into her classroom.

3. As an educator for more 27 years and a digital learning specialist (social studies) for the past 7 years in Atlanta Public Schools, Felisa Ford has supported educators across the district and beyond as they purposefully integrate technology in the classroom to promote engagement and 21st century skill development. While there are many tools and resources available to educators to support their efforts to create dynamic digital learning environments, one of the most engaging is Minecraft Education Edition (M:EE). Popular among students (and teachers!), M:EE is a game-based learning platform that promotes creativity, collaboration, and problem-solving in an immersive digital environment. Read about five ways Ford has helped the district’s teachers use M:EE into classroom instruction.

Laura Ascione
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