Gamification of the classroom to help 'digital natives' learn

The gamification of learning is likely to be one of the next big trends for ­educational technology as schools have begun to diversify the curriculum in an attempt to inspire pupils bored with traditional textbooks.For children who are digital natives, technology is a ­daily part of their lives outside school and gamification combines elements such as scoring points or winning a prize with educational tasks as a means to engage pupils.Studies have found that gamification can lead to positive changes in pupils’ behaviour and keeps them motivated – the method has been applied in UAE schools already.Habeeb Mustafa, a digital coach at Kings School Al Barsha, said there is a shift glob­ally and locally towards fostering 21st-century skills and bringing technology into the classroom.“Gamification is a way [to use]tried and tested techniques in a class-based context to engage the learner more. It ­enriches the learner and simulates ­pupils more than text-based questions,” Mr Mustafa said.“The child isn’t limited to having to read a textbook and it captures their imagination learning in many different ways.“This particularly helps children who may not respond to traditional academic methods, such as those with special needs.”The coach said that adding time pressures and competitive scoring to tests or quizzes engages pupils more than traditional methods.The learning games often involve maps, quizzes, singing and dancing, and teachers report that children respond well.

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