Why Gamify? Why Put Guessing in Education?

Ever wonder why we spent most of our young lives fretting over our report card?  Why did we always have to guess what our grades were?  Why was it always shocking to us if we didn’t get the grade we thought we were going to get?  The first 35 seconds of this clip will show you what people have to go through just to get good grades. – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUTt_rafiyQ

Well, maybe that was a bit extreme, but to enhance performance and take the guessing out of grades, education needs to deploy ‘gamification’ and introduce the gaming industries simplest tool… The Experience ( XP ) Bar.

XP Bar #whygamify

It’s a simple tool that shows how far you are away from a “grade”.  The student starts at the “F” level and the bar moves north as the student performs certain achievements. During the course of the year, the student will know exactly where they stand and how to get to the next “level”/grade.

Every student in the world has grown up with these in some fashion or another:  Here’s my favorite, the US Government fear bar.

XP Bar For Fear #whygamify

Each student should be afforded the right to view their status throughout the school year and utilize the technology that they covet – MOBILE.  The XP Bar, or status bar, should be a mobile and online social experience for both the student, class and teachers.  The basic set up should incorporate a simple cloud served application that enables the following:

1. Clear communication with the teacher.

2. Social support mechanisms with other students.

3. A clickable and updatable list of achievements, tasks and tools for “grading” up.

This extremely inexpensive (meaning, a student could probably build it into some social tools for extra credit) digital tool could change the way teachers, students and classmates interact, teach and learn through ‘gamification’.

“With increased global competition, employee productivity and engagement have become more critical to businesses” said Google CEO Eric Schmidt.  Mr. Schmidt also discussed the importance of utilizing ‘gamification’ in the workplace.  Mr. Schmidt is a “gamer” and understands that the new work force are gamers, have grown up as gamers, and understand gaming because it is in their blood.

So, the question is, why don’t schools look at ‘gamification’ in the same way?  #whygamify

About Why Gamify?

Why Gamify? Because people deploy game mechanics in non-game based applications every day.  We have ringtones to achieve status, we use our American Express Cards to level up for “cool things”, and we become members of the million mile clubs just to use the lounges.  Our lives utilize ‘gamification’ mechanics every day, and this has been true since the dawn of mankind.  Why Gamify? intends to break down non-traditional applications and introduce leaders in these fields to comment on what has worked, what hasn’t worked, and their best guess for the future of ‘gamification’ in their fields.  Why Gamify? intends to bring together their insight on how ‘gamification’ and new technology will impact the way the average individual, teacher, business leader, entertainer, athlete, student and beyond thinks about ‘gamification’ in their lives.


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