They’ve joined the board games club! When it first started it was meant to be a 'consillium' organised by the language department to get over something that seemed to be the fast-spreading desease among students, easily recognised by the following symptoms:
- Getting bored of working with any kind of textbooks;
- Using workbooks for drawing;
- Picking up their phones any moment you are not looking;
Diagnosis made: 'Allergy to books'. Prescription: 'Gamification'.
No joking, unlike their Millenial teachers, Gen-Z kids are addicted to anything but books. Statistics says today‘s youngsters engage in 10 hours of online content a day. Psychology says the reason is clear – they are digital-natives. They’ve been born into a life full of gadgets. They are googling information instead of 'encyclopeding' it. In this situation using digital tools should be a universal decision. Though not all the classes are equipped accordingly, internet connection may break any time. That’s why in our institution we turned to gamification which adjusts the mind-set of the teachers to the interests of the students and provides a brand-new methodology based on playful content.
Surprisingly the idea first came from business where it was used to promote the sales by application of game principles in non-game context. In the same perfect way gamification can be implied in education creating new ways to drive student’s motivation. The main reason why they are 'book allergic' is that they refuse to be passive learners. They expect to be fully engaged as while playing the games. The second reason why it works so well is that it leverages the desire for community, feedback, achievment and reward, that is so strong in the Gen-Z students.
Considering all the benefits of gamification, we decided to organise the monthly 'Board game club' where teachers discuss the practical educational benefits of gamification and play games of course! Having won in the several rounds of Monopoly and Werewolf, I take this 'Board games club' as the most adorable way to develop professionally.
Should you be interested I recommend taking a look at a website created by our colleague to gather the useful links to all kinds of gamification resources we have found so far: https://rafaelacedo.wixsite.com/mysite
Any advice from professional gamificators is highly welcomed and appreciated! Let’s teach and have fun!