Youtopia 18, MAR A few weeks ago, I was invited through Twitter to learn more about Youtopia, an amazing platform for gamifying learning and service. Gamification is a motivational tool which commonly relies on “badges” or some other outside incentive to promote behavior. Think of “achievements” in video games – progressing in a game is a game in and of itself. Youtopia lets you take this mentality and apply it to students and club members. Nevertheless, the administrator of the group has the power to set badges and requirements for earning them, making this platform available for gamifying practically anything. The product is, in short, amazing; but the service is more astounding. I was given a free demonstration of the software and even invited to try the product out with any groups I’m involved with. More importantly, this invitation extends to anyone interested. If you are at all interested in this software, let me know, and I will connect you. Follow Zach on twitter @Zlipp and visit his blog
Gamification in education can be an effective motivational tool for engagement. Some educators spot increases in student engagement while others see skill acquisition benefits. It can also be a tool for enabling teachers to guide and reward their students and in terms of game mechanics, urgent optimism is a powerful force to get the classroom to take action quickly, keeping them on task and highly motivated. Some schools have developed a common core-based language arts curriculum that is entirely based on “World of Warcraft.” Algebraic equations are being solved by the implementation of “Angry Birds” to illustrate parabolic movement and provide students with impetus. Other programs, primarily those that focus on physical education, have even introduced “Dance Dance Revolution” to get the kids moving.
Here at Youtopia, we’re pretty pumped up about badges. Since being selected as a winner in the Digital Media and Learning Competition, we’ve been working for almost a year with Mozilla Foundation and the badging community to define how badges can be used for the greater good. Here are the 5 things you need to know to get badging.
Among various types of schools, faith-based (97%) and minority-serving (92%) institutions reported above average rates for missions that purposely drive the work of engagement. They also have strategic plans with a focus on civic engagement, and service-learning at 93% and 95%. These findings reflect the historic link between leadership and community development, which has resulted in a pervasive culture of engagement.