Gamification/Game-Based Learning Apps, Tools, and Resources That I Would Use If I Were Still in the Classroom

Back in 2001, when I started as a teacher, the technology boom was in its nascent stage. I remember toting a large bag filled with papers home most nights and going to sleep drowning under a vast sea of student homework that needed grading. My classroom was even worse, cluttered with books, manipulatives, globes, maps, and learning stations that left little room for anything else. However, as I write this in 2018, things have changed dramatically. Today’s teachers have edtech in their corners.

Digital teaching and learning tools have streamlined education processes and provide learning experiences that stretch far beyond the materials that were available for me back in 2001. For instance, back in 2001, I gamified my classroom by allowing my students to play a U.S. History version of Jeopardy. It was cool, and they really enjoyed playing it, but nowadays teachers can do so much more. There are game-based learning apps that will allow students to build their civilizations from scratch and try their hand at ruling them. Think of the teaching and learning possibilities that could arise from that. If I were still in the classroom today, I’d use these apps, tools, and resources:

Minecraft: Education Edition: Let kids play one of the hottest games but with an academic twist. This edition of Minecraft helps kids to learn computer science, problem-solving, wilderness conservation, and even introductory chemistry concepts. Students will feel like they are in the original Minecraft world but with far more substance.

Kahoot!: Educators can make their short learning games in just a few minutes. Add a few videos or images to help solidify your points, and then allow the children to play on their screens. Meanwhile, all content is broadcast to the bigger screen so students can encourage one another to keep playing.

GameDesk: GameDesk is one of the most popular apps because it allows educators to include academic content and short assessments into games, easily improving classroom engagement. Your students can play and discover new things through this app while teachers can accurately assess how students are doing at the same time.

The Basic Facts Game: This is a two-player, turn-based iPad board game. The game was developed to help children learn and practice addition, multiplication, number facts, and develop strategic thinking. Children play the game by selecting numbers to add or multiply together to place a counter on the board at each turn. The first player to have four counters side by side and in a straight line wins the game.

EdApp Microlearning– This is a mobile LMS with a template library, push notifications, and analytics designed for microlearning. EdApp has an integrated authoring tool, spaced repetition, and gamification features. This courseware is designed for iOS, Android, and the web. It incentivizes learning using intrinsic rewards and integrated, real-world pricing.

Janison Academy– A fully hosted system that creates and delivers courses; provides reports, certificates, and assessments; and tracks learners. Janison uses a gamification system to engage users from the first time they log on. The learning platform is available anywhere, anytime, and on any device. The platform is designed to provide cost-effective and flexible options for learning.

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