Gamification in Education

Gamification in Eduction, image by Matmi

Mini Matmian:
The use of Gamification techniques within education is not on the horizon…it is already here. 6 months ago I highlighted the fact that the work teachers have been doing in classrooms across the globe for many years could easily be seen as a form of non-digital Gamification. 

The very practice of stickers, group leader-boards and reward systems that are already in place in so many primary school classrooms is already, in part, a form of gamification …

I then went on to mention how digital media could be used to augment the education process:

…add a bespoke system that also incorporates digital media (yes games are part of it) for multiple purposes that not only serve the individual pupil but also provide an accurate and easy way of tracking progress [for teachers) can only benefit the whole school environment.

All those many months ago I kept it brief. My experience as a former teacher meant that the topic was close to my heart and I knew that if I didn’t reign in my key-tapping fingers I would end up with a 3000 word essay.

As a supporter of the good gamification techniques can bring, I wanted to make one thing absolutely clear:

Sticking the same API or just shoe-horning badges in is NOT taking advantage of the power of game mechanics. 

I mention this now because an article on caught my attention. It was about a company in Singapore who have developed an educational application that takes advantage of gamification techniques and mobile technology.

The company in question is called Trial Shuttle and the application they have developed “…lets students direct their own learning programs.” As I had said before, this is key. 

Trail Shuttle promotes self-directed learning via individualized, experiential paths.

Three components, in turn, are involved to make that goal possible: a Web-based toolkit for creating learning programs as well as a mobile app that allows students to explore and experience those programs and a monitoring app that lets teachers track students’ progress. Included in the mobile app for students are an augmented reality way-finder and code scanner; quizzes to test the student’s learning; chat capabilities; and the ability to check in at “hotspots” and complete specific tasks,

via PSFK

There are a few tools out there now that try to add digital gamification into education but this one is the first I have seen that not only puts the focus on the individual as a learner, gets them exploring the real world, allows teachers to track their progress and is cross-platform (please leave a comment if you know of any other software that does the same thing. SquareCrumbs is close but is iPad only).

It seems the Singaporean education system is happily embracing gamification and technology full force. On an ego boosting note, it is gratifying to see that the Matmi thought lab is still keeping up with (and at times ahead of) digital trends.

Let us know how you feel about gamifying education.

Related articles:

Microsoft introduces Xbox-like achievements for developers - HTML and CSS Web Design

Microsoft introduced a beta plug-in for the company’s Visual Studio development environment today. Visual Studio Achievements is a free plug-in that allows developers to unlock achievements and badges, in the same way that Xbox gamers pick up achievements. Developers can even compete with each other on a virtual leader board for coding bragging rights. Microsoft says the plug-in is designed to be “playful and pragmatic,” built to help developers discover new features of the Visual Studio application.

Developers will be greeted with the classic “achievement unlocked” toast on their desktop after particular events are triggered inside Visual Studio. There are 32 achievements across six categories, and badges can be shared on Twitter, Facebook and blogs thanks to a javascript widget. With achievements like “Lonely” and “Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD),” it’s probably a good idea not to share every badge on your social network though. You can grab the free plug-in at the source link here.


Mini Matmian:

Another simple implementation of adding game mechanics to Microsoft’s products (remember ‘Ribbon Hero’? - I personally found it quite useful as a tutorial system).

Be interesting to see how developers take to this plug-in. They can be quite a competitive bunch :-)

Looking for a way to add a layer of game mechanics to your website or a new app? Then get in touch with Matmi. We would love to hear from you and I’m sure we would be able to spruce up your next camapaign/website/App. The Matmians are people of many talents.

Twitter: @Matmi


Matmi New media, Dukes Chambers, Dukes court, Mill street, Macclesfield, Cheshire, sk11 6nn

Phone: (+44)1625 560771

Google News Gamify

Last month, Google added Google News Badges to their news page. In line with other efforts to personalize your news feed through Google+ and +1, Google News Badges allows users to easily keep track of the different topics they follow within the daily newsfeed. There is still room for possibility, but Google News Badges does represent an influential interest in the power of gamification by one of the world’s largest tech companies.

Read the full story.