Honestly, before writing this blog, I only used the words “educational games,” not knowing that games used in learning can be categorized. The categories named in the title are fuzzy when defined because there is some overlapping. From my readings, this is my understanding of these buzzwords!
Game-Based Learning involves learning through games to promote a thinking strategy, to practice academic skills, and to support and engage students (Teachthought, 2014). Game-based learning could involve simulations, could have rules, could involve role-playing and could have losers. Donald Brickman from Microsoft Research can provide more insight about game-based learning in the video below.
Hot Topic – Game Based Learning by msftineducation MIE @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCUJlM2ebtM
Gamification is the application of game-like thinking to non-game content to encourage a specific behavior. Gamification should be engaging to students, allowing them to track their progress. The role of this type of learning is to find intrinsic rewards in an activity and offer extrinsic rewards for doing them (Educational Technology and Mobile Learning). The goal is to get the user motivated to complete a task. The game is secondary to the performance of the tasks to be completed, yet it facilitates the tasks. Below are two examples of gamification.
Duolingo is for anyone who would want to learn a new language. I believe second graders and up could learn a new language using Duolingo. After choosing a language, one can choose a path by starting at Basic or taking a Placement Test. The Basic level introduces approximately 6 – 8 words in phrases and sentences per session. Many repetitions are given in which the user translates or writes what is said. There are even tips! The words can be read at turtle or normal speed. A quiz is then given. If it is not passed, try again. A bar tracks progress. Share the progress with your friends or invite them to join. Duolingo is pleasant to view, user friendly, untimed and has incentives to continue. There are hearts that appear for “well done.” Lingots earned can be used to purchase…well, I’m not sure, but try Duolingo and find out how easy it is to become bi-lingual. And, it’s free!
Raz-Kids provides an e-reading library at 27 different levels for kids PreK – grade 6, who can read the books anywhere because of mobile technology. As a teacher, Raz-Kids provides ways to assess reading levels, record students’ reading, acquire fluency rates, and track progress. For younger students, alphabet and high frequency words can be assessed. The e-books could be projected for class lessons. A whole classroom could receive differentiated reading assignments using Raz-Kids. Students receive incentives such as points/stars for listening to a book, reading and recording it and passing a comprehension quiz about it. As students read more and more books, they move up in rank. Eventually, their avatars can board a rocket to go to a planet for a new experience. Stars earned can be used to buy items from the Raz Rocket Catalog, personalize a rocket, or design their avatars with parts that they can buy. This sounds like fun! Oh, and parents have access to their child’s progress.
Serious Games are used to train or teach people something. They can be simulations of real world events or used to solve real world problems. Serious games could persuade the user about serious issues. They could be purposeful games. All serious games require concentrated attention for lengths of time. For a list of some Serious games, go to Brooke Petrucelli’s List: Serious Games – Links and Resources on diigo.
By now you probably realize the overlaps of these buzzwords. I’m sure that there will be another type of game to add to this list within a year. When you find any other types of games to add to this list, let me know!
The Difference Between Games, Gamification, and Serious Games. (2011-2014). Educational Technology and Mobile Learning. Retrieved from http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2013/06/the-difference-between-games.html
The Difference Between Gamification and Game-Based Learning. (2014, April 4). TeachThought. Retrieved from http://www.teachthought.com/technology/difference-gamification-game-based-learning/.