Gamification of learning is an exciting trend in education. I’ve heard of many different schools and districts that are using ideas started in the classroom to gamify Professional Development by offering learn-on-your-own modules that teachers can complete to earn points or badges. I have been interested in this idea and have even started developing ideas for setting up a choice menu and badges for a summer professional development offering for my staff (more details to come 😉 ), but this morning, after listening to a couple of episodes of the Well PlayED Podcast on my morning run, I was inspired to gamify EVEN FURTHER!
Well PlayED is a podcast about gamifying the classroom and host Michael Matera and his guests do a great job of describing in detail how they set up and run different aspects of their gamified classes. As I listened, I began to think about how this could apply more broadly to learning and growing on my campus. I started to ask myself, “How might gamification of professional growth and learning inspire and motivate teachers to learn something new, reflect on their learning, and share with their colleagues?” I have to say I am truly inspired to add gamification for staff on our campus in so many more ways in addition to my original ideas for badging.
Current State of Affairs
My campus is a PBIS campus in which we have a school cash currency that students can earn for following our expectations and being outstanding school citizens. Teachers also have their own separate currency they can earn along with a menu of items they can purchase with their school cash such as prime parking, duty coverage, wear warm-ups passes, or they can even use their teacher money to shop for real school supplies at a pop-up teacher store. Currently, teachers earn school cash by reinforcing the school expectations, participating in school events, and pretty much any time administrators catch them being awesome!
How I’d Like to Gamify GROWING and SHARING:
I believe that the most important strides we can make toward growing our students is growing ourselves as educators and sharing our learning – yet my teachers aren’t earning cash for their professional growth and sharing. I want to propose putting my money where my mouth is (well… teacher cash anyway) by connecting that teacher currency to many more professional growth and sharing opportunities.
My Initial Staff Growth Gamification Ideas:
- Points for each hour of professional development taken
- Higher value earned if the professional development ties to the teacher’s personal professional learning goal for the year
- Even more points per hour for professional development that directly aligns with campus goals (these specific courses would probably be highlighted for staff ahead of time)
- Cash earned for signing up to allow visitors to come into your class via our school’s Pineapple Chart
- Points for writing up learning or reflection on a staff growth and reflection blog
- Points for sharing a Bite-sized PD at a Staff Meeting or as a part of another meeting
- Big points for offering a full-length PD
- Points for sharing an applicable article link or resource on a staff-curated Pinterest board
- Points for participating and contributing to a Twitter chat
- Posted to the Staff Reflect and Share Blog
- Provided Bite-sized PD Badge
- Provided Full-Length PD Badge
- Completed 3 Courses that Align with my Personal Growth Goal Badge (a more concise name will have to be invented before this one rolls out!)
- Multiple other badges offered for completing short tutorials on different topics provided by admin on our staff Google Classroom
I’m thinking I could have teachers submit their accomplishments through a simple Google Form to get their teacher cash and badges (when applicable). The connected sheet would allow us to track accomplishments and note trends.
I also think completing certain tasks could unlock abilities. For example, we are currently running a Podcasts and Pedometers PD on our campus in which staff members earn credit for listening to education podcasts while walking the building to care for mind and body. Perhaps next year, teachers could “unlock” the ability to complete this at the time and place of their choosing after completing… let’s say… 3 on-campus sessions.
How else could a campus incorporate earning priveledges or abilities? Perhaps completing certain tasks before opening certain sections of the prize menu where they can use their points to purchase things – like jeans passes or duty coverage. Or maybe having to earn a certain number of overall points before they unlock certain items for purchase?
What about smackdowns or battles?
It could also be really fun to incorporate a way for teachers to challenge each other to try something new in their classroom. Maybe they can wager points/cash for the duel. If the challenged teacher accepts and completes the task, the teacher who challenged has to pay up – but if they don’t, they owe the teacher who challenged them a certain amount.
Perhaps a leaderboard could be posted with top achievers. Or maybe an average of each grade level or team’s points? Maybe a special badge that passes around for the point leader on each team?
All points earned for learning, growing, and sharing would also earn cash which teachers can use to purchase items from our pre-existing school menu like fast past copies, lunch taxi, Sonic drink, and many more options as mentioned before. Even after spending their cash, teachers could retain their overall points earned to commemorate all of their accomplishments.
I am so pumped about incorporating more gamification to encourage growth and learning on my campus! You should know, I’ve run NONE of this by my school PBIS team or leadership team – I am simply sharing my initial ideas, reflections, and excitement in order to get all my thoughts down, reflect, share with others to inspire gamification of growth and sharing on more campuses, and hopefully develop and remix some parts of this initial reflection into something usable on my campus!
Thanks for reading!
Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments!!!
I would love to hear your ideas and reflections!