Decades of research have shown that parental involvement in the classroom is an important indicator of students’ academic success. In ”Parental Effort, School Resources, and Student Achievement,” which appeared in the spring 2008 issue of the Journal of Human Resources, parental involvement is shown to have a strong and positive effect on student achievement. Schools would have to spend more than $1,000 per student to create the same effect. Teachers, schools, and Parent-teacher organizations should begin implementing techniques for encouraging parent participation both at home and in the classroom. Offering some incentives and metrics for success can help achieve this desired motivation. It can incite parents into voluntary action by creating an environment where parents, like students, are recognized and rewarded for their participation. There is a substantial amount of evidence that game mechanics (rules or constructs designed to produce game or game play) are extremely effective at increasing motivation. Badges have been created to incite action and engagement based off psychology’s incentive motivation theory which suggests that people are motivated to act by external rewards. Nothing is intrinsically motivating about a badge in and of itself but the meaning of the badge gives it significance and currency. The badges provide social and psychological rewards for users, in this case parents, which can be highly motivating and rewarding within their social environment. The desire for social approval will entice users to act due to the promise of public recognition and social currency within the parental environment. Schools, teachers, and Parent organizations can use Youtopia to engage, motivate and track parental involvement. Create challenges and activities that parents can complete for points and badges. These activities can include helping in the classroom, planning parties, creating teaching tools, parking duty, [...]
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.