In Part I of this piece, we profiled three companies that are taking gamification to the next level. In this Part II, we will profile the final two. Without further ado, here we go.
With the rise of globalization, being able to learn to communicate in other languages is becoming increasingly necessary. The problem is that the perception most people have about learning languages is almost entirely negative. This is because language learning requires dedication and the ability to follow through even when things get tough.
Language learning is one of the best areas for gamification, and few have mastered how to do that like Duolingo.
The site offers 18 full courses on a range of languages. There are several languages currently being beta tested (you can join them if you want to help them make better lessons). There are also some languages that are currently in the incubation period, and once they reach beta, you can start to learn and provide feedback.
The lessons are not just about real world languages either. One of the languages currently being incubated is Klingon, a language from Star Trek. It goes to show that the makers are game for trying things that are both common and uncommon to make something that anyone can enjoy.
Each of the lessons are divided up into very easy to manage sessions. They provide a daily goal for you and track your progress so that you can see what you have learned. Over time, you will need to go back and refresh what you have mastered so that you do not forget, and this does count toward your daily goal, then you can continue with the next lesson. The lessons are also presented in a way that makes it easy to understand, remember, and learn the spellings and sounds. It also is incredibly easy to work into your routine. You can download the app if you want to keep up your language lessons on the go.
You can follow them on Twitter (@duolingo) for the latest in the news about Duolingo and the future of language learning. If you have questions, you can contact the Duolingo team or talk with the Community.
No matter how well-designed games are, sometimes flashcards are the fastest most efficient way to learn. The problem is that they can be bulky and difficult to carry, making them impractical for use outside of the home. This is where BrainScape has found a niche and turned it into something that offers the ease and customization of games, but with a focus on flashcards.
With an extensive list of possible flashcards topics, you can create your own or ask the program to make the cards for you. Select your deck, and then you can get started memorizing the terms and phrase you need.
The biggest problem with flashcards is that people tend to focus on the areas where they do best, believing that they need to refresh these ideas, so they do not forget them constantly. The problem is that you don’t progress when you always study what you know instead of focusing on your weaker areas. This gives you the false impression that you are doing better than you are. Brainscape does not allow for this. Instead, it forces you to focus and learn the things where you are weak. This means you will make real progress. There will be some refreshers on your strong areas as well so that you don’t forget; it just won’t be where you start your lessons.
Gamification can be used in many different ways. Whether your students need a better set of flashcards, hands-on experience, or a more memorable experience, gamification gives you the tools to create something that will engage your students. These five companies understand how games offer students a more customized approach, and they know how to maximize the potential of games to educate better. By following these companies, you are likely to find that your classroom quickly becomes a place of engaged learning.
The opinions expressed in Education Futures: Emerging Trends in K-12 are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.