Students have been much less engaged in school in recent years, according to survey results and anecdotes from educators. In response, schools have made boosting student engagement a top priority for the forseeable future.
Many educators are increasingly turning to game-oriented learning to engage and motivate students. A growing body of research shows gamification and game-based learning can have positive effects on students’ cognitive, motivational, and behavioral outcomes.
Gamification is when teachers introduce game-like elements to an existing lesson or activity. For example, they might give out points or badges for correct answers or turning in assignments.
Game-based learning is when educational material is placed inside a game framework, or when the game’s goals center on the skills or concepts students are supposed to learn. For example, in a game about breeding dragons, students have to understand basic concepts about genetics in order to make choices about which dragons to collect and breed.
Education Week asked educators on Facebook, LinkedIn, and X (formerly known as Twitter) what tech tools they use to gamify their classrooms. Here’s what they said:
Tools for formative assessments and evidence of academic growth
“Blooket and Gimkit are awesome for formative assessments and even helping them understand using data as evidence of growth. They both have excellent banks available, and Blooket will let you import from a Quizziz.”
— Jennifer D.
“I only use two really but as study tools. Now that every kid has a Chromebook I try to be mindful of screen time. I use Quizizz and Kahoot, that’s about it. I also do analog games like Headbands, with cards, stuff like that. We also do a big March Madness battle with Medieval World Achievements putting them in a bracket and voting on the most impactful on our world today.”
— Rocky L.
“Quizizz and Blooket are easy to implement and enjoyed by students.”
— Maria P.
“My kids still LOVE Blooket.”
— Christine A.
“SumDog it’s very engaging and provides useful data.”
— S. R. E.
“Gameful.me. It leverages UDL to gamify your entire course.”
— Mick M.
“If you’re willing to build things… then Genially and Thinglink are great resources.”
— Ben B.
“Ixl.com, brainpop.com & 99math.com”
— Tammy C.
— Benjamin A.
Not everyone is a fan of gamifying classrooms
“Needless; kids need less tech and need more traditional learning skills.”
— Victor V.
“This focus on entertainment over academics is insane.”
— Jess C.