Today's students do not learn or interact with the world in the same way as their parents did, today's students have more media exposed to them in a day then previous generations were exposed to in a lifetime. Students today have access to games on their phones, laptops, tablets and or gaming systems at home. I believe that tapping in this desire for games and the students innate ability to play games and interact in digital environments presents countless learning environments for our students and across the curriculum.
4 years ago I began teaching in an alternative education setting where all students in my class have an IEP and a wide variety of exceptionalities. With the support of my administration, I have been actively working to Gamify my classroom experience with my students. I have done this by introducing Minecraft, RoBlox and even bringing in a Nintendo Wii into the classroom. I have tried to stay alert to new games and applications my students are playing and using outside of the classroom and find connections to bring it into the curriculum.
Last year when all of my students began playing Clash of Clans, I went home and built my own clan and endorsed myself into the world of Clash of Clans. Within 3 weeks we developed a number of classroom ties in, through literacy, numeracy and art. We had students design their own clan emblem, we had students form their own clans in the classroom, name their clan, write and create a history of their clan and reasoning behind their clan name. I loaded the game onto my schools Ipad and in groups the students all began their Clan on the same day. As we did in-class activities students would be rewarded and have 10 - 15 minutes depending on the day to play the game as well, the feedback was amazing and the students seemed engaged in a topic they were knowledgeable about.
I have followed suit with other applications and games and am always looking for new ways to gamify my learning environment and assess my students outside of the typical paper and pencil variety.
Below is a link to a presentation I gave last year at the EOCCC conference in Ottawa on Gamification in the classroom.