Are incentives enough to gamify your life?

Are incentives enough to gamify your life?

I recently read a post on Lifehacker about how a guy had “gamified” his life by setting up a points system to incentivize behavior. In summary, things he enjoyed doing were given a cost value, and things that he didn’t were given a points value. He could then track the points he had accumulated and […]

The Fluent Fool in EFL

The Fluent Fool in EFL

Many EFL classrooms around the world are filled with what Bennett calls fluent fools. While these students are often very gifted in the English language, they struggle with even basic tasks outside of the context of the classroom. The language that the students use often appears overly formal and strange to the ears of native speakers. […]

Is Your Class A Game?

Is Your Class A Game?

“People learn through play” is a statement that almost every teacher, psychologist, educational theorist and even politician can agree on. Play teaches a wide range of skills mostly in the area of procedural knowledge (how to do things) rather than declarative (how to explain things). It is an area that is under-served by the tell-then-test […]

Bright Spots in the Class

Bright Spots in the Class

It is sometimes too easy for teachers to see the bad behavior of their students. We can notice a student who is distracted, or not doing what they are supposed to, from the other side of the classroom. The students who misbehave often only get noticed when they disrupt the class. Most advice for teachers in dealing […]

Why Study Games?

Why Study Games?

In the academic world this question pops up fairly regularly. It stems from the view of games as pastimes and inconsequential in comparison to the more serious subjects out there. This view is so common that the field of Game Theory is linked to mathematics and philosophy, and has only the most basic reference to games […]

First Order Rules and Instruction

First Order Rules and Instruction

Teachers often struggle against becoming the “Sage on the Stage”. This post will look at one of the areas where the sage takes center stage frequently in teaching, the giving of instructions for activities. One of the hardest things for a teacher to learn to do is not to over instruct. Over instruction is when […]

Press Print to Play?

Press Print

How do I gamify an activity? This post is a theoretical case study of how to gamify a simple workplace activity. We will be using a business model to outline the process for the sake of clarity. However, the same process can be applied to many situations and contexts. Overview The Acme Corporation has a large […]

A Dice Does Not a (Good) Game Make

A Dice

In the field of ESL/EFL it is common to see “board games” where the students roll a dice and then answer the questions in English on the squares that they land on. These games are incredibly popular and it is rare to find a book without them. The students seem to enjoy them with teachers […]

What’s Fun?

What's

Fun is a word that we as teachers hear a lot. Whether it is from students who are moaning at the lack of it in the classroom, or peers bemoaning the focus of modern education on being fun. It is one of the words that is bandied around a lot, but it is also surprisingly difficult […]