Video Making Journey
At this point in my video making journey, I was still trying to figure out what path I wanted to take. I knew I had some footage from in the classroom I could use, so I uploaded that as a start. I was very stuck on wanting to have students actually in my video and almost mourning the loss of the ability to do so as well as feelings coming up about how the year this year ended. It was a tough mountain to face. Eventually I decided to reach out to my students enmasse through a Google Classroom announcement and see if anyone was checking their emails over the summer and willing to participate. As of the day this blog was due, I had not heard back from anyone. However, a few days later I did hear back from 2 students. They both completed the permission form and we scheduled a time to interview!
When it comes to the actual tech tool, WeVideo is really straightforward and easy to use. I had encountered it in Oak Grove school district in Sebastopol but had completely forgotten the program they were all using. I am so happy to have been reintroduced to it and now will add it to my arsenal of tools I can use with students.
Blog about how you incorporate gaming, gamification, game thinking into your class. How? What are your objectives?
Ever since I first heard of the term gamification in regards to education, I became very interested. Being a little bit of a gamer myself, I entirely understood the mindset in games where no matter how many times you failed in a game, at some point you usually end up getting right back to it and continuing to try (unless it is a racing level then it's time for a new game cause I know my limits). I thought this was a wonderful concept and analogy for how to view learning a new subject no matter even if it was boring old math (math is not boring).
I was a first year teacher who had literally fallen into teaching math because there had been no other options when it came to jobs, however I approached this new challenge the same way I approach many challenges. I try my best to find out everything I need to know and do to be successful, apply that, fail miserably, maybe cry a little, then pick myself up and get back at it in a new way where the cycle often begins again. In my first year of teaching, gamification ended up being just like that racing level in the games I like to play; no matter how many different times and ways I try it out, I could never seem to succeed.
A few years later, I am now a few years and many gamification failures in, but I have begun to figure a few things out that have worked. I was introduced to Alice Keeler through this class. While I had used Quizizz and Kahoot in the past to play up the competition and fulfill a mini life goal of being a game show host, I had never applied it in the way Keeler had. I had always been drowning in papers to grade because "how can I know what my students know if I don't look at every single problem they solve?" Though eventually I knew, and always would, end up secretly recycling giant stacks of work that I never ended up having time to look at. I knew I needed a new method. Keeler suggested gamifying all worksheets that could be gamified. This allows students to be able to practice those Depth of Knowledge (DOK) 1 level type of skills while freeing up my ability to sit with groups of students and work on their DOK 3 and 4 level skills that are the skills that actually help a student to understand the workings, they why's, and the application of these very skills. The trick was to require them to continue to retake the quiz until they got to 100%. If they got to 100% then no homework!!
I have never in my life seen students work so hard to not have homework before.
The stats of everyone were always shown so they would have mini competitions with each other where they would even make their nickname for that round be something that would egg on their friends and they would shout across the room "Take that! I beat your score!" I really feel like I finally stumbled on something that worked. Unfortunately, we have now all been sequestered to our homes and my students no longer have that competition in the classroom. Could this keep up in distance learning?
Kids are still making up nicknames to egg on their friends. They are still continuing to complete the quizizz worksheet problems to get to 100% and even celebrating in the private comments with me when they FINALLY got that 100% score. Even though the vast majority of my students have logged off distance learning and decided to only show up to class, I have more participation from students who I had rarely seen anything completed from while we were in traditional school.
I still have not passed the racing level in my own gamification journey, but I feel like at least I made it in the top 3 spots and for me, that's a HUGE win.