by Catherine Horton Flippen
Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a Learning Management System that helped educators gamify their classes?
Thanks to Dr. Lisa Dawley and Dr. Chris Haskell and their work with Boise State University, there is a groundbreaking platform that can help you easily gamify your lessons. And during the month of August, they can teach you the hows and whys of gamification during their amazing Teacher Camp.
3D GameLab is a “quest-based learning platform for teachers and students of all ages” and is hosting a feature-filled Teacher Camp from August 1st to the 20th. The platform has been developed since 2010 and has been in closed beta for a year, with the first Teacher Camp being held in August 2011. 3D GameLab will be going to Open Beta with a small, basic account within the next year, but if you want to take advantage of amazing learning opportunities such as making your own smartphone app, using digital games and machinima in your class, and diving in to emergent ed games via Minecraft in Schools as well as gain access to a teacher dashboard and 60 student seats, don’t miss out on August 2012 Teacher Camp starting August 1st!
I participated in the second Teacher Camp last April, and I will be using 3D GameLab to gamify my Spanish classes and hopefully to gamify teacher professional development. The platform is user-friendly, especially via “The Academy” quest sequence during Teacher Camp, which gives you step-by-step guides to incorporating quest-based learning into your classroom, including greatinformation on FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) and COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act), both of which I believe EVERY teacher should know and understand in this era of digital education. 3D GameLab also features another emergent movement in education: Learning Badges. They have three types of badges that you can make or take (Achievement, Award, and general Badges) on which you also receive valuable instruction and advice.
Still uncertain about 3D GameLab? The NOAA and the MacArthur Foundation-supported DML Competition aren’t! 3D GameLab and NOAA recently teamed up to create an environmental literacy curriculum using web-based questing and Mozilla badges, which won the Badges for Learning Competition.
While there is a fee to participate for the Teacher Camp ($295) keep in mind that the fee covers for bandwidth, space, and maintenance as well as access to some incredible features, including:
- Ongoing access for a full year to play hundreds of quests in the camp, and share/clone/remix thousands of quests in the Quest Armory
- Teacher Dashboard gives you ability to invite 60 students into your own group of quests
- Ongoing access to additional teacher camps throughout the year at no additional cost
- Fully web-based, play anytime, works great on mobiles
- Player scorecards, teacher reports
- Game mechanics: badges, ranks, rewards, XP, and Mozilla OBI badges coming this fall!
A free basic account will be available soon, but you will miss out on the 60 student seats, ongoing synchronous events, and the teacher camp itself, which, as I can attest, will truly expand your vision on the future of education.
I hope to see you there (I’ll be participating again)! For more information, check out this video of Dr. Haskell chatting with the Games-Based Learning MOOC about gamification. Fast forward to minute 35 for his thorough guide to 3D GameLab: Gamification and 3D GameLab with Chris Haskell.
Ctrl+Alt+Teach by Catherine Horton Flippen is licensed under a Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND
She is a public and private school foreign language and fine arts teacher as well asprofessional development coordinator and doctoral student at the University of Floridain the curriculum and instruction / educational technology program. Learn more about her here.