Reflection Week 5/New World Teaching



What draws me to education is the elusive “perfect lesson”. There is no such thing. It can always be improved upon.

“New World Teaching” is “Next Gen Learning”. Maybe because I’m as a 46-year-old digital native these are not new ideas to me. I appreciate that my parents put me on the front edge of the digital revolution buying a computer and hooking up a modem in the 80’s. Learning is student-centered, not should be.

Born Digital and the other book posted were just frustrating and seemingly out of date–10 years old! We’re making significant progress. I don’t feel I need to know what students of today need. I’m convinced. Onward.

This week I’ve been excited about Kahoot, Chris Hesselbein of IgniteEducation, whose blog I practically inhaled (see below). He has posted a slick Google Sheets Leaderboard and did you know Michael Matera has a food blog?!

Often my first instincts on how to gamify are wrong. For example, I was thinking that badging would be easy to do–but I immediately went down the road of giving badges worth points that could be traded in for something (extrinsic motivation).Chris Hesselbein on Igniteducation had some good advice about badges:

  • Use the badges to diversify the learning environment
  • Make them highly visible
  • Be flexible with badges
  • Be consistent, give badges to students fairly and for the same reasons
  • Celebrate both successes and failures

Hesselbein also has a great post on rewards in general:

  • Stuff: extrinsic, not best for long term engagement
  • Power: grants agency to student
  • Access:freedom
  • Status: represents player accomplishment.
    • A well designed game or gamified lesson utilizes all four of these reward categories to activate the full spectrum of motivational elements. Games are an excellent model for how to reward the successes of our students in class. However, let’s not forget that rewarding success is far less powerful than celebrating failure.

I thought leader boards would be nice to incorporate, but not all students are motivated by the leader board. Ideally they should be short-lived and you probably only want to show the top 5 or better yet, show each student who is just above and just below them individualizing the leader board. AND a leader board should be separate from a grade not synonymous. Hesselbein also had some more good ideas on “Shameless Leaderboards”:

  • Make it optional: allow learners to opt out.
  • Use Avatars
  • Make it cooperative: Whole class XP
  • Display the top five or ten
  • Display growth: percentage increase, points for the week

Several levels less involved is the quiz platform Kahoot. There is some great research there  (See Mak, 2016) and anecdotally students really like to take quizzes this way–and it works for huge groups (700!). I tested played and created some games and found it easy to use. It does require a number of devices for participants with Internet connection and is real-time only. An option for use with only one device for a whole class might be Plickers.


Hesselbein, C. (3 December, 2015). Four Ways to Reward Success in a Gamified Classroom. IGNITEducation. retrieved on October 5, 2016 from

Hesselbein, C. (3 December, 2015). Status is the Ticket to Intrinsic Motivation. IGNITEducation. Retrieved October 5, 2016 from

Hesselbein, C. (12 April, 2014). Retrieved October 5, 2016 from

Hesselbein, C. (18 March, 2014). Retrieved October 5, 2016 from

Mak, W. (28 March, 2016). Retrieved October 5, 2016 from:


Hi Kate,
There are so many ways to create an interactive classroom, I don’t think gamification is the only road. For instance, we know that direct instruction isn’t the best, but I see (at the higher ed level) much more discussion and interaction than lecture. It will be interesting to see how your students change over the year as they become used to your teaching!

Hi Gerald,
I agree with you that we need to “increase engagement in learning” as teachers. And the elements of gamification can be applied to help us do that, but it’s still only a tool to use, not the magic bullet.

I appreciated all the statistics. Those were not something I came upon in my research. I found it so interesting that the numbers of adults having knowledge of online learning, Khan Academy and MOOCs was so low! As most of my students are adults in online classes my experience is probably skewed.
There are probably distinctions to be made among and within “video games”, because some of them might be a waste of time. I’m not sure what my hours-upon-hours playing Tetris back in the day have gained me in my adult life (OK, maybe bragging rights), but I did play some early role playing games that required strategy, communication and teamwork that WERE probably helpful. I am not currently a gamer. I prefer to cook and browse Pinterest :-).

Hi Sarah,
I think you’ve hit the nail on the head when you said “I think that more teachers will begin to shift their classrooms from the ‘Old World’ to the ‘New World’ as they try to find the best ways to engage and educate their students.” I firmly believe that teachers WANT to engage their students. Teaching is so much more enjoyable when pulling content out of students is NOT like pulling hen’s teeth. It does take work and experience to know where to take a class of individuals, but that is why we’re here learning in order to take it back to the classroom where it matters.




One thought on “Reflection Week 5/New World Teaching

  1. I really enjoy that you see this class as a way to improve your craft and you are doing a great job of focusing the weekly question towards this. Sometimes I get too tied up in trying to finish my assignment and forget why I am taking these classes. Thanks for the refocus.


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