3 easy ways to gamify your classroom in 2018

If you're looking for a way to increase engagement and participation in the classroom then look no further than gamification. When done well, it can be a great way to increase student motivation and reinforce learning content.

But knowing where to begin can be a little overwhelming.

So to help you get started out I've found and tried 3 easy and free ways to get started that won't take too much setup or preparation time. And just so you know, I'm not affiliated with any of these - I just think they're awesome.

If you have any ways you gamify your classroom then make sure to share it in the comments below!


1. Create engaging quizzes with Kahoot

I love Kahoot. It's a super fun way to reinforce learning through engaging quiz and works for all ages. 

Kahoot lets you create multiple choice quizzes and then present them in a fun way to the class. 

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Your students will need access to a computer or mobile device (or they can share devices), and you'll need a screen and computer to run the quiz.

There are a lot of pre-made quizzes available too that you can use or rework for your class.

*Note Kahoot do have a paid account called Kahoot Plus for organisations and businesses with more features, but for schools Kahoot is free.


2. Create engaging quizzes with... a slideshow!

Kahoot works great if all your students have phones or computers, but this isn't always the case. So if you want a more lo-fi version of a fun quiz you can use a slideshow instead to create a similar experience.

The game I like to play is heads or tails. It's super easy to run and gets students up from their seats. The idea is that you create 10 true or false questions for students to answer related to the current content you're teaching. Everyone stands up and then proceeds to try and answer the questions by either putting their hands on their heads (true) or tails (false). If they get it incorrect, they sit down. You may have a few left standing fo the last question so a fun way to end the quiz and keep everyone involved is to get the last few to stand in front of the class and then the quickest person to answer the last question correctly is the winner. 

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I've created a powerpoint and keynote template for you to download to make it easy to create your own version of the game. I've used the Chalkduster font which you can download here if you don't have it. You can also make it more epic by adding some royalty free background music.


3. Playful class support with Class Dojo

Finally, there's ClassDojo which is a little different to the games above. It's more of an organisation tool for the classroom. It connects teachers, parents, and students who use it and allows them to share photos, videos, and messages through the school day. You can use ClassDojo to encourage students to work together as a team and share their in class experience. It's a neat, free tool for classrooms and is well worth checking out if you're a teacher.


What next?

  1. Share how you gamify your classroom in the comments below.
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  3. Get in touch if you have any questions or comments.

Zelda is awesome, but loading screens are a drag.

Zelda is awesome, but loading screens are a drag.

Today I've got a real treat for you. We're going to look at the latest Zelda game from Nintendo! 

*Pause for dramatic effect*

Okay, let's be honest, you might have read the title and thought to yourself - Okay Zac... is talking about the loading screen in Zelda really going to help me with gamification?

Fair question.

Apart from being a great excuse to talk about one the best games I've recently played, what I want to look at today are ways to get you thinking about how to engage people when they have to wait. Why? 

The habit loop: Powerful habit-forming mechanics found in Clash Royale

I have a bad habit of pulling out my phone and playing the game Clash Royale whenever I have a spare moment. This habit is so ingrained in me I find myself automatically doing it, even when I was supposed to be doing something else on my phone. It's got to the point where I need to deal with it, and what better way to do that then by writing a blog post about it as an excuse to play it... I mean analyse it... even more.

Designing Engaging & Motivating Apps (video)

I presented recently at /dev/world/2016 – Australia’s longest-running conference for OS X and iOS developers and designers. It's a brilliant conference and well worth attending if you're an app developer or designer. In this presentation I took the chance to talk about usability and motivational psychology and why they’re both as equally important to consider when designing engaging apps.

If you want a copy of the slides, resources, references and further reading visit this page.

3 reasons Pokémon Go is so engaging (...and 3 things Niantic could fix)

As I stared at the loading screen for Pokémon Go for the third time this morning I started to question myself... why am I still playing this game? It's incredibly buggy, there's not that much to it, yet I'm still finding myself opening it to look for Pokémon.

I'm sure you've heard of Pokémon Go given the insane popularity of it. It's a location-based game for your smartphone where you walk around in the real world and try to catch virtual monsters to add to your collection.

Mailchimp and the big red button

Mailchimp, the newsletter sending service, has some brilliant little playful elements they’ve added to their sending process. What’s interesting about these changes is that I believe they also subtly persuade you to send better newsletters. Let’s look at this further.

Push the big red button

You’ve created your newsletter, you’re ready to send, so you press the send campaign button and you’re presented with the following screen...