It’s a wrap!

My final make, a curation of gamification resources, evolved into a collaborative endeavor.  All semester long, I’ve been telling my husband, a secondary social studies teacher, about connected learning concepts and resources.  In particular, we were both drawn to gamification, and he’s currently planning a full-on gamified structure for next year’s classes.  As I began to work on my final make, I realized it would be a much stronger resource if we collaborated.  We both have accumulated a variety of gamification resources, and when we combine them in one place, the result is a more comprehensive curation that’s appropriate to teachers of different grade levels.  As we continue to learn more about gamification, we intend to add to the collection and keep it as relevant as possible.

The website curation is interest-driven, production-centered, and openly networked. It organically grew from an interest I developed over the semester, which led me down my own specialized rabbit hole of learning.  It’s also peer-supported.  My husband and I collaborated, sharing ideas and feedback as well as making joint decisions. Furthermore, it’s openly networked. The curation compiles a variety of resources for teachers of all grade levels, and it’s free to all who are interested.

I view the curation as an equitable contrast to many teaching resources I have come across (or not) in this class and also in my practice.  Oftentimes, it’s hard to find the good stuff!  Many people don’t think about it and keep work to themselves, some intentionally shield their work, and others try to profit from it (Teachers Pay Teachers, publishing a book, etc.).  Of course, there’s nothing wrong with any of this, but I personally believe that if I have a great idea or resource, why wouldn’t I want others to freely access it and benefit from it?  The practice of teaching and learning would be so much stronger and feel more united if we approached it like a garden co-op: we all get our hands dirty in the garden, and then we all share a bountiful harvest.  I’ll put my best work out there, and I’d love to view and utilize your best work, too.

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Gearing up for the last make

For my final make, I decided to curate gamification resources in the form of a website.  When I first became interested in gamification, I had a hard time finding helpful resources and making sense of the concept.  I found so much information, and it was overwhelming.  I envision this curation as a one-stop-shop for the most helpful gamification resources, an organized space for me to easily refer to and add new information.  

From the outside looking in, gamification is not especially equitable because the concept feels abstract, and it’s a major departure from the typical classroom system.  I feel like gamification is something educators admire from afar; they may appreciate an exemplar, but then they dismiss it as unworkable in their classrooms without trying anything new.  However, anybody can gamify, and it’s possible to start small.  So, a natural starting place is a curation of resources that demystify gamification and show examples big and small in a variety of subjects and grade levels.

Where do I start?  Here’s a handful of my favorite gamification videos: