The Latest on Gamification in the Classroom and How to Keep Content Compliant
May 22 2023
Children playing digital games

Gamification in the classroom is growing in leaps and bounds.

Recently, Cal State Fullerton hosted a talk on game-based learning. It featured Randall Fujimoto, executive director of the nonprofit Game Train Learning. Fujimoto believes games can take education to the next level because they require full active participation, which is not the case with reading textbooks, listening to lectures, or watching videos. Kids’ minds can wander while doing these things. However, if it happens while playing a game, they’ll either lose or get shut out. The two eventualities are powerful motivators to stay engaged.

In his presentation, Fujimoto explained how any subject matter could be taught with games. This includes formal subjects like math and social studies and soft skills like social-emotional learning.

Current Examples of Gamification in Education

Here are some novel examples of games in development, testing, or in active use designed to teach various skills.

Earth Island is a game that’s so new it’s currently in the development process. It’s a simulation video game that teaches learners real-world ways to mitigate climate change and environmental degradation. Players can apply what they learn through a series of environmental challenges. The team behind Earth Island plans to include several rabbit holes to support different learning styles. Earth Island may not be available for a while, but it shows the fresh thinking developers are using to build the learning games of the future.

Kybolt, a video game studio based in Dublin, has developed a digital experience that teaches leadership skills called Causeway. The team behind it designed Causeway to address the issues of harassment and exclusion that creep up in many competitive multiplayer games. The game aims to teach players how to become good leaders no matter their role in the experience. It introduces eight different leadership styles, including pacesetter, visionary, democratic, and transactional. The game is in the alpha stage and promises to revolutionize leadership learning when it’s fully released.

Xbox recently announced a new Minecraft experience called Privacy Prodigy. It’s a game-based learning experience the company developed to educate children ages 7 to 18 about internet safety using artificial intelligence (AI). The game teaches players how to protect personal data so sensitive information doesn’t become compromised online. This version of Minecraft uses an AI technology called Community Sift. It filters messages, videos, and images to determine what is appropriate and what’s not. Game-based learning experiences like Privacy Prodigy can give young learners the knowledge they need to stay safe on the internet.

Go Nisha Go is a mobile game developed exclusively for teen girls. It empowers them to make informed decisions about all aspects of their lives. The game is based on survey information from more than one hundred girls aged 15 to 19. The data was used to build psychographic profiles that resulted in the four personas used in the game. The personas make the game relatable to most adolescent girls. Go Nisha Go provides a risk-free environment for teen females to practice making big life decisions related to safety, health, career, financial planning, and more. Learners experience a travel adventure story that presents challenges, conflicts, and negotiations similar to what they might encounter in their own lives. Players experience the outcomes of their game-based decisions and receive feedback with the option to play again and come to a different result. The experience goes one step beyond gaming and introduces real-world resources players can leverage in their everyday lives.

All classroom gaming isn’t virtual. Board games are also popular and effective options. One example is a climate-themed board game called Climate Champions. Board games have serious educational and motivational potential because they allow students to step away from their screens and engage with each other. Games like Climate Champions go beyond fun. It facilitates learning about international climate issues and builds a sense of responsibility toward the environment. It engages players in meaningful conversations about climate change that result in action.

If you want to get creative, teachers and school administrators can partner with a company like Gameplan to create their own games and classroom experiences. This is a great option for educators who want to take their learning to the next level.

Educational Games and Academic Standards

Games are great tools to educate and inspire students. However, in today’s standards-based educational system, that’s not enough by itself. Classroom games must also meet the needs of educators using them as instructional tools. To help them feel confident that games are introducing, reinforcing, or evaluating classroom content, they must meet Next Generation Science Standards, Common Core State Standards, Career Technical Education (CTE), and state standards.

This can be challenging because games are far more complicated to evaluate when it comes to academic standards than textbooks and linear videos. It can take hours, days, and weeks of research, gameplay, standards investigation, and curriculum alignment to get a gaming experience approved in a single state. Another complication is that many game developers know what they want their games to educate on but aren’t experts at defining learning objectives or handling other parts of the standards alignment process.

When it comes to traditional educational publishers, who are highly experienced with the time-consuming standards alignment process, they typically find it challenging to address the complexities of multidimensional, multi-experiential learning.

No matter your situation, EdGate can help. Our ExACT solution makes it possible to automatically align academic content, including games, to a full range of academic standards in the United States and many parts of the world. It makes the work of ensuring content meets different educational requirements fast and easy. You can feel confident that when you offer your game-based and other content to state and other educational agencies, it will be approved. And once you meet a single set of standards through the ExACT system, you can almost instantly align to virtually any academic regulations anywhere.

The people on your team can use ExACT to ensure your educational games meet learning standards. Or you can hand the work over to EdGate’s experts. In either case, you’ll get total support — and answers to all your questions — from the experienced people on EdGate’s team.

Need help getting your educational content approved for use? Contact EdGate to find out all the ways we could support you.