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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

What Schooling Could Be Like (Gamification in Education)

     I recently had another one of my "Why is school still like this!?" episodes and got to thinking about what different ways sound ideal and what consequences there are for breaking the traditional approach.

     Suppose schools ease up on the grading system to lean more towards something that rewards excelling instead of punishing those who can't keep up. It'll stop the countless students who give up because they think they can only fail. Why not have it so that one student who is doing well can lift up the entire class' grade slightly, making the students who would normally be bullied more well liked (more of an  MVP instead of a know-it-all). What if school just focused more on fun instead of cramming and temporary memorization.

     Nobody remembers things in school that didn't involve some kind of fun experience. A boring lecture and a frustrating test are a waste while that one science experiment when the teacher brought in animals will stick with you forever. You didn't understand a particular bit of history until your teacher showed the documentary about the lecture you just had and now it's more clear because you saw it instead of heard it.

     I want to live in a world where we embrace the idea of voluntary learning and positive reinforcement in place of the constant threat of failure. A world where classwork and homework is fun. Where students work together and grades count upwards instead of down. Remove the pressures of school and people will stop giving up. Make a game out of it and everyone will improve on their own terms.

This concept is better explained in this short video about gamifying education.
(Update: Look t that. Another video on the topic came out today!)

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