According to Gee's evaluation criteria (2003), educational video games must be pedagogically driven and appropriate to promote learning. These criteria refer to the motivation given to the student when using the application or game, the potential problems he / she will be faced with and his / her level of interactivity.
Johnny Grammar's Word Challenge is an application suitable for Android and IOS devices. It is really beneficial for students who learn English and want to improve their knowledge of grammar and vocabulary. The aim of the game is to answer as many correct questions as possible within a minute, with the user receiving badges depending on his performance (Grammar Guru, Word Wizard and Supreme Speller badges). By winning badges the player is placed on a leaderboard competing with other players worldwide.
Socrative is a tool primarily designed to evaluate the learner. The application (response system) allows the educator to create several kinds of quizzes: Multiple Choice, Right or Wrong, Brief Response, etc. Those quizzes are accessible by the tutor who has access to view the responses of each student (Kokina, & Juras, 2017). There is also another option called “Exit Ticket”, which provides a direct insight into the students' understanding of the main points of the course. (Tretinjak, Bednjanec & Tretinjak, 2015).
Toondoo is an easy-to-use web-based application for creating comic books. That is why it is preferred by educators. It is so easy that even Elementary school children are able to use it without any issues.
Children are asked to imagine and make their own little stories by cultivating their metacognitive skills such as creativity and imagination.
One of the most popular and well-known tools for learning a language online is Duolingo. Duolingo is completely free, easy to use and makes it a lot of fun the acquisition of a new language. There is a variety of languages you can choose from, including English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Dutch, Swedish, Turkish, Japanese, Norwegian, Danish, Polish, Hebrew, Vietnamese, Greek, Ukrainian, Welsh, Hungarian, Swahili, Korean, Romanian, Czech and Chinese.
How does it work?
Duolingo is a great example of a straightforward language app. It’s really simple to use. You set up a profile, choose your target language, set your weekly goals (only if you’re brave enough) and off you go! There is an option to ‘test out a language’ when you begin a new language. You can start with the basics or you can take an ‘entry test’ and let the app determine your fluency level.
Classcraft is a free e-learning system that transforms class into a role-playing game, based on the theory of the gamification of learning which attempts to make the learning process even more accessible to students (Analysis of Factors Affecting, 2015). It is basically used as a means of managing the classroom and the behaviors of its members (Sanchez, Young, & Jouneau-Sion, 2017; Bicen & Kocakoyun, 2017). Classcraft transforms school by taking the video game mechanics that provide rich and interesting play experiences and applying them to the classroom setting.The teacher is responsible for coordinating the game since he is the game master.
A computer and a projector are required for viewing the statistics of the students, while students can view their progress and interact with the content by downloading the application which is available for IOS and Android devices.
The game runs in the background during the lesson and it normally takes place simultaneously. The teacher chooses to switch to the game whenever he or she sees that fit or whenever (2015) .
In-game students create an avatar and then are divided into small groups that will compete with one another. The student has the option to customize his own avatar with a number of predefined characters (mage, warrior, healer) each of whom has his / her own powers and weaknesses (Brettton, Sim, & Read, 2016)
These powers represent behaviors and processes that occur within the classroom. For example, the healer's "Ardent Faith" power enables him to confirm a response to a test by asking the professor. In addition, students earn points by answering questions, participating in classroom activities or helping another teammate or even the teacher (Sanchez, Young, & Jouneau-Sion, 2017).
Through a variety of activities, students acquire experience points and improve the level of the hero they have chosen initially, thereby improving their own cognitive ability and behavior.
It is a tool based on behavioral learning theory as learning through classcraft aims to modify the student's behavior. Additional features that classify it in behavioral learning tools are the specific activities to achieve objectives that activities are designed from the beginning by the teacher (Learning Theories, n.d.). Thus the student is not in control of the application since the teacher is the creator and the one who moves the strings and directs all the parameters of reward or punishment within a course context. As far as the assessment of the learner is concerned, it can be said that it follows the behaviorism model as well since the teacher attributes the possible positive or negative reward with the experience points.
Within the framework of classroom management strategies and actions, teachers build a positive ethos within the school unit by recognizing and commending positive behavior and discouraging the unsatisfactory and unacceptable. According to Bretherton, Sim, & Read (2016), Classcraft plays the role of a new behavior system, transforming the traditional responsibility of the teacher.
The positive effects on the learning process include the encouragement for learning, cooperativity and student-to-student communication and effectiveness (2015; Bicen & Kocakoyun, 2017; Bretherton, Sim and Read, 2016). Worth mentioning is the flexibility the students have and the freedom of decision-making given due to the fact that the information that is provided to the users about the consequences of their choices can alter their way of behaving (Sanchez, Young, & Jouneau-Sion, 2017).
Finally, with the adoption of classcraft as a regulator of the appropriate behavior, students' performance is expected to reach higher standards, aiming not only at the optimal learning culture but also in the improved social life and the extended teamwork that follows (Bretherton, Sim, & Read, 2016). Two different elements are extremely worth mentioning regarding Classcraft. On the one hand the tool is shaped in such a way that it contributes to the improvement of an individual level of the pupil and on the other it introduces social skills and interactive actions, which encourages the establishment of learning communities that can help in achieving common goals.
All in all Classcraft, cultivates the development of critical thinking in students, underlining those who believe that games are not just a tool for mere entertainment but they also have huge educational potential (Sanchez, Young, & Jouneau-Sion, 2017). Applications of this type transform the traditional classroom into a learning environment where activities make sense to the pupils and thus create a sense of pleasure under fun situations.
Gamify your own classroom by visiting https://www.classcraft.com/
Analysis of factors affecting user acceptance of the implementation of ClassCraft E-Learning: Case studies faculty of information technology of Tarumanagara university. (2015). 2015 International Conference on Advanced Computer Science and Information Systems (ICACSIS), Advanced Computer Science and Information Systems (ICACSIS), 2015 International Conference on, 73.
Bicen, H., & Kocakoyun, S. (2017). Determination of University Students' Most Preferred Mobile Application for Gamification. World Journal On Educational Technology: Current Issues, 9(1), 18-23.
Bretherton, W., Sim, G., & Read, J. C. (2016). ClassCraft in the Primary School Classroom. Proceedings Of The European Conference On Games Based Learning, 167-74.
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Sanchez, E., Young, S., & Jouneau-Sion, C. (2017). Classcraft: From Gamification to Ludicization of Classroom Management. Education And Information Technologies, 22(2), 497-513.
Games in education are the teacher’s weapon to try and involve students in activities that combine the element of fun and learning with a meaning. Mobile devices have reshaped the way of teaching and have created new opportunities towards this approach.
This article will present one of the most useful tools, Kahoot! which combines beautiful graphical representations and sounds, turns the classroom into a playroom, with the teacher being the "show" coordinator and the students to be the contestants (Fotaris, Mastoras, Leinfellner & Rosunally, 2016). Students are asked to give the appropriate answer to the current question they are dealing with using their mobile devices and according to their responses they earn points that rank them in a rating scale (Wang, 2015).
A Kahoot! is a collection of questions on specific topics. Create a fun learning game in minutes – called ‘kahoot’. The format and number of questions are entirely up to you. Add videos, images and diagrams to your questions to amplify engagement and make learning so fun that your students will literals beg to be assessed
The benefits that Kahoot offers! in the learning process are many, but in summary, one could claim that it transforms the learning process into a more efficient and productive one (Katyshev, n.d.). The ease with which students receive feedback individually on their devices promotes self-evaluation, while the teacher's report on the distribution of student responses gives him the opportunity to identify potential gaps, make further analysis as well as explanation of the right choices (Katyshev, nd; Wang, 2015; Dellos, 2015; Fotaris, Mastoras, Leinfellner & Rosunally, 2016). Besides, as Dellos (2015) points out, creating the conditions for a comfortable environment for feedback in their responses without the stress of evaluation is critical to assimilation of knowledge. The user-friendly interface is also enhanced by the fact that there is no need to download a separate application, although there is such a possibility, since the game can be played through any web browser (Katyshev, n.d.). Even the existence of the scoring system exploits the innate tendency of man to compete, effectively giving players an incentive to improve the position on the ranking board (Katyshev, Wang, 2015; Fotaris, Mastoras, Leinfellner & Rosunally, 2016)
Being a system of responding to student choices in a pre-created game of questions by Professor (Dellos, 2015) and according to the foregoing, it is concluded that this application is largely a behavioral tool in which the right options have been set beforehand and students are asked to identify them, ultimately leading to the reward of this desirable option. Of course, if used in ways other than the above, it has the potential to become a tool of social constructivism
If used properly, It has the potential to create a social, fun and game-like learning environment.
Visit http://create.kahoot.it to make your own quizzes using Kahoot! or discover Kahoots! made by others
Dellos, R. (2015). Kahoot! A digital game resource for learning. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, 12 (4), 49-52.
Fotaris P, Mastoras T, Leinfellner R and Rosenally Y (2016). Climbing Up the Leaderboard: An Empirical Study of Applying Gaming Techniques to a Computer Programming Class. The Electronic Journal of e-Learning Volume 14 (2), 94-110.
Katyshev, V. (2005). Effective Educational Use of Kahoot. Retrieved October 13, 2017, from https://meantechtools.wikispaces.com/file/view/Kahoot%20description%20of%20use%20new.pdf/541271970/Kahoot%20description%20of%20use%20new.pdf
Wang, A. I. (2015). The wear out effect of a game-based student response system. Computers & Education, 82, 217-227.