#EduMatch Bingo at #CUERockstar

Hey peeps! Long time no see ūüôā

When I began this post, I was¬†at #CueRockstar…however, it’s now the next day and I’m in Colorado.¬†¬†Cue Rockstar was¬†AWESOME! ¬†I was faculty from June 21-23rd, and have learned so much through facilitating sessions. ¬†My first session was about flipped/blended instruction, and the participants created fantastic products in a very short time. ¬†I’ve encouraged them to tweet them out using the #CUERockstar hashtag, so maybe you may see them ūüôā

The second day was about gamification. ¬†I have presented on the topic multiple times, but usually it was to people who were new to intermediate level gamifiers. ¬†Occasionally, there have been some advanced participants, but I have never been in a situation with so many in one place. ¬†I loved it, because I learned new tricks from some of the rockstars in the room. ¬†There were many things I hadn’t considered, and they gave me great food for thought¬†by sharing what they were doing. ¬†It was truly a collaborative learning space, and felt somewhat like an edcamp.

Yesterday¬†was session three. ¬†Since the format of CUE Rockstar is totally different than other conferences, and workshops are supposed to be hands-on, I wanted to tweak my usual “What is EduMatch?” presentation. ¬†While this one is designed to be a discussion, and runs on audience participation, I decided to step outside of my comfort zone and try something new: #EduMatchBingo. ¬†I drew on influences from several cool things that I’ve been playing with, such as Mystery Hangouts and BreakoutEDU.

The idea came together last week when I was chatting with the #EduMatch crew on Voxer, preparing for a different session. I don’t know exactly where the inspiration came from, but as soon as I opened my mouth, a plan began to form. ¬†The idea appealed to me so much that I decided to beta test it in the¬†safe space at CUE Rockstar. ¬†Here’s what we did:



  1. I set up a Google Form where people from around the world (hosts) could sign up and answer a few basic questions, including their availability, preferred platform, and personal/professional facts about themselves.  (I wanted them to share some personal information because part of the mission of #EduMatch is building relationships.  This is important if we are to learn from and with each other.)
  2. Given their responses, I assigned them to different platforms for the morning and afternoon sessions (plus a third date next week).  I organized this on a separate sheet (Template Here)
  3. On a third sheet, I organized their responses into different lines.  It also served as a cheat sheet for the hosts to see their responses in an easy way, in order to make sure they gave all their answers.
  4. I found this Bingo Template from Alice Keeler that saved my life.  The directions are on the sheet.  I created and downloaded about 15 random bingo boards and put them into a Google Folder.
  5. The morning of, I placed all of the hosts into a Voxer group and communicated with them, reconfirming everyone’s availability and answering any questions when they arose.

Thank you to the following hosts, who had signed up at the time of this writing:

Beta Testing Round 1

At CUE Rockstar, the faculty members shred, or promo, their sessions at the beginning of each day. During the shred, I admitted my nerves and beginner’s mindset, saying that we were going to try something brand new for the first time, which could either be an epic win, or an epic need-to-overhaul¬†(thanks Tammy Neil for changing my mindset regarding the word FAIL).

The first session ended up being both!  I was so thankful to see my new buddy Nishantha who came to play.  He was the sole participant, so we ended up competing head-to head to test for bugs.  There were many, so I noted them as we played.  Spoiler alert: he won!  A few ideas from session one:

  1. Add a slide that provides an overview of how to connect to the game boards through Google Drive.
  2. For platforms with sound and/or video (i.e. Google Hangout/Voxer), only play from one device.  Encourage participants to join the main #EduMatch Voxer group.
  3. Google Hangouts was the easiest platform to play, because it was synchronous.  Voxer was second, probably because of the speed of voice.  The text-based platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus) were a little clunky.

Nishantha also offered other good suggestions, such as pre-surveying the participants and getting matches based on their interests; as well as having people sign up to be hosts after playing the game.

Beta Test Round 2

With this new information on hand, I went back to the Voxer group to rally the hosts.  I created a PM Voxer group, and changed strategy a bit.  For example, I linked a slide to the #EduMatch Google Plus and Facebook groups, and asked the hosts to tweet to the hashtag #EduMatchBingo.  In addition, hosts frontloaded the text based platforms with their clues ahead of time.  The roles were more fluid and free-flowing, with anyone being encouraged to post their clues in advance on any/all platforms, but not to post all the answers in one place.  In addition, all hosts were invited to participate in the Voxer/Google Hangout conversation.

For the second round, we had three players: Linda, Judy, and Jed.  The second round was much smoother than the first, and we improvised small changes along the way.  For example:

  • One of the hosts asked how cryptic the clues should be. ¬†In the morning, we had not covered this point. ¬†In the afternoon round, we experimented with having them give their answers verbatim. ¬†This made the game go by very quickly. ¬†Ideally, the responses will be a little vague, but not too challenging.
  • Each participant could ask one question to the hosts on Voxer and Google Hangouts. ¬†I passed them my¬†phone, they introduced themselves, and asked their question.
  • At the end, we had an open dialogue on Google Hangouts, and participants were encouraged to join their new connections in our #EduMatch Voxer group.

There were many duplicate answers on the Bingo cards, which came as a result of having  six hosts per session.  As we continue to play and expand our database, there will be less duplicates, and the game will be more challenging to win.

Next Steps

Thank you to all of the players and hosts from Beta Test Day One. ¬†Whenever we get #EduMatch swag printed, you all will get a special gift ūüôā ¬†After running through both sessions and debriefing, some of the following ideas emerged:

  • Continue running the game to refine the model. ¬†Although we have most of the bugs out, Day One was played in small groups, with tech-savvy, connected participants. ¬†Other factors for consideration may emerge later. For example, future players may not be on the social networks that we utilized, or know how to access their Google Drive.
  • In addition, the current model works well in small group settings. ¬†For each round, I made only 15 bingo cards. However, I do intend to use this tool in other avenues, such as keynotes, edcamps, and featured speaker sessions in the near future. ¬†At such sessions, there can be dozens to hundreds of people in one space.
  • One idea to address the first two bullet points is to do team bingo, as one of the participants suggested.
  • DocHub was a good tool to annotate on a PDF, however there may be another, easier solution.
  • A last idea is to create an app that will be able to do all of this in one place. ¬†Since I have limited coding experience, I may have to do some edumatching to myself, in order to find someone who can help. ¬†Perhaps other tools that are already out can work.

Thanks again to everyone for participating in this experiment.  I am looking forward to seeing it grow and develop, and would love to hear any feedback on how to make this better.

Week 1 Retrospective

Hello, friends! ¬†I’ve been in high school (part two) for a full week now, and it’s better than I could ever have imagined. ¬†Although it is a whole new ballgame, it takes elements from the two worlds that I’ve¬†been living in for the past few years (middle school and professional learning), and splits them right down the middle. ¬†I’ll keep this short and sweet, because I have to jet, but need to blog. ¬†Here goes.

The Change

The opportunity to go to high school, after seven amazing years in my K-8 came along. ¬†I realized that I had become good at what I did, but if I were to continue to grow, I’d need to try something new. ¬†After making this creepily foreshadowing¬†video nine days before I even knew about the opportunity:

I decided to go for it, with a little nudge from my PLN, as well as my family.

First Week with Staff

When I arrived at the first day back for staff, I was immediately struck by the happy realization that I left one familial environment, only to join another. ¬†This was a huge relief, as I was going through major anxiety the night before, as evidenced by this blog post¬†I wrote to process what was going on (lol…hey, we’re all human).

The entire staff was so welcoming, and I was happy to see many familiar faces: parents of former students, spouses of former co-workers, people who I’d been following on Twitter for years, and folks¬†I had met through county workshops and conferences like ISTE. ¬†I probably knew a good third of the folks there already, so this helped a lot.

My team was also on point. ¬†I learned so much from them in the first few days, and am continuing to learn. ¬†It was from our department chair that I got my first explanation of how 3D printers work, something I’ve wanted to learn forever and a day. ¬†Everyone on the team brings the heat in his or her own way, and I’m so proud to be part of this.

The atmosphere was very high-energy and supportive, but it was still a major change for me. ¬†At one point I started to doubt myself a little bit. ¬†However, our final assembly of the week was all about how important we all are to students, and about moonshot thinking. ¬†After watching¬†an inspirational¬†video and hearing the principal’s speech, I felt renewed and ready for Monday.

Time to Meet the Students

Sunday night, surprisingly I slept like a baby. ¬†I woke up early to work out, which I incorporated into my daily routine before school¬†(we have to be there at 9 a.m.). ¬†I found that it¬†helps me focus, and I’m in an overall better mood.

Monday was Freshman Orientation, and they stayed in each class for about 30 minutes to meet all of their teachers from both days (block scheduling).  In our class, we introduced ourselves, then played a game of Kahoot to go over expectations.  In it, there were questions specific to the course itself, the school culture, and random trivia about me to keep them on their toes.

The day went by fast.  Tuesday was the real first day, with the freshmen and upperclassmen at school.

Day One

Since we are on block scheduling, we have A Days and B Days.  So, this will be a culmination of both days.  I teach three different classes, but the first five days of each class is roughly the same.


The students did a survey that I whipped up on Google Forms, which included info about their strengths, goals, and an anonymous gamer tag for our leaderboard.  When they were done, they signed up for EverFi Ignition, a free self-paced digital citizenship resource, and began completing the activities.

Class Time

After warm-up, I told students how important storytelling is, and how we each have a story and something to bring to the table.  I challenged them to prepare a presentation of no more than five minutes about themselves to introduce themselves to the class, and modeled what this could look like through an ignite(ish) speech of my own.

Afterwards, we played Kahoot again, because most students were not present on Monday. ¬†Lastly, we went over class expectations. ¬†On the last slide, there was a link to an activity, which we didn’t get to until Day Two.

Day Two


On the second day of class, students began the day with their EverFi warm-up, except for those who hadn’t yet completed the survey. ¬†On Friday (B-Day #2), students were invited to vote for their favorite class more from the 3rd period A-Day class. ¬†We have a new class showcased every day, and the public is invited to vote as well.

Class Overview:

I explained the routine to students, that we would reconvene after warm-ups to go over the leaderboard, as well as any relevant announcements. ¬†By this time, I had updated the leaderboard with their pseudonyms and points earned on Day One, so then I told them about the items they could “purchase” with their points in the Swag Shop.

Next, we moved on to the Class Activity for the day, Balloon Cars! ¬†(The site where the activity is described is hyperlinked on the last slide of Day One’s course overview.) ¬†This was a great group work activity where the kids were able to get out of their seats and work together on the design process.

Some groups got it on the first try, and many more had to try and try again. Overall, it was a great learning experience.  I was really touched when groups who had success split off to help their classmates experience the same success.

In some classes, we were able to get started setting up reflective blogs via Blogger (thanks to the EduMatch crew for the sugestion).  In others, we jotted down notes for later blogging.


I’m not very big on homework, especially in a class pretty much rooted in PBL. ¬†However, I am a huge proponent of flipping. ¬†My school happens to have a 1:1 Chromebook initiative, so this will make flipping easy. ¬†In addition, most students do have cell phones. ¬†I took full advantage of this knowledge to craft my first 360 degree flipped video via my Ricoh Theta camera, to show students what is possible:

FYI, this video may not work properly in some browsers, but I had lots of success on my phone in the YouTube app, as well as on the YouTube site itself, where there is a directional control pad located in the top left of the window.


I know I promised to be short and sweet, but I got carried away.  Here are a few take-aways that will drive me into next week:

  1. Find some comfortable shoes. ¬†I’m not feeling heels.
  2. Stick to the model of one reading/writing day and one lab day.  This will help get students ready for the college model.
  3. Implement “Figure It Out” Fridays, where we all get together to…well…figure something out lol.
  4. Get the blogs up and running ASAP, so that students can reflect and comment on each other’s musings.

I’d love to hear what everyone else has going on the first week of school. ¬†Please drop a comment below. ¬†Thanks for reading!

Day 8 – Genius Hour for MEEEEEE

Today I had my own 20% time. This year, I’m teaching half of the school day, and the other half, I serve kind of as an Instructional Coach for tech integration in our building. ¬†I’ve structured it so that Monday-Thursday, I am at my colleagues’ disposal. ¬†My buddy Dr. Will gave me the fantastic idea to use SimplyBook.Me to help me keep my sanity…er, I mean to schedule professional learning sessions.

Fridays are my days. ¬†Oh, I’m a poet and don’t even know it. ¬†But anyway, I am claiming this one day of the week to handle everything that I want to do. ¬†I have three hours of professional learning with…myself lol.

Today, my project was to fix all of the laptops in the mobile lab that could be saved, in order to use them with my classes. ¬†Prior to that, we had issues with some error message popping up. ¬†It said something along the lines of, “no logon servers are available,” or some infuriating garbage similar to that. ¬†I was able to save all but two by hardwiring them to the school Internet, logging on, then shutting down.

Third and fourth periods were cool. ¬†The kids were a little amped, I’m guessing because it’s Friday. ¬†Also, there were some major changes to the leaderboard since yesterday. ¬†Two players hit 50 points today. ¬†I’m going to need to slow up on giving out points, or make items in The Item Shop a little more expensive. ¬†Good thing they have a lot of options, or things could get chaotic.

One major takeaway that I learned from ELA class today is to save all of the high-energy fun stuff for the end of class. ¬†I allowed them to play each other’s Zondle games right after our warm-up with Edmodo’s Snapshot.

I’ll come back to Zondle in a second, but I just have to say that two of my kids are now meeting last week’s standard (8.RI.10), which I threw back in the mix just for fun. ¬†Last week, not a single solitary kid scored “meets standard.” ¬†The funny thing is that¬†8.RI.10 was only in the curriculum once last week, and the students are supposed to hit that mastery level at the end of the year. ¬†I think all of the Actively Learn warm-ups are helping. ¬†We also did 8.RI.1, which we did work on this¬†week, although not much. ¬†Five students have hit the mastery level there. ¬†I’m expecting better next week.

As for Zondle, the students were so hype to play each other’s games. ¬†I was walking around, looking over shoulders, and I found some of the games were on things like cell division. ¬†Ha! ¬†Not exactly what I was going for, but I’m glad it’s academic. ¬†Next week, I will be very clear with them that they should be using academic vocabulary words while in my class.

We then used Google Classroom and the online textbook for a group classwork assignment.  Both periods ran out of time, so I assigned the rest as homework.  We are going to have to work on the collaborative teamwork thing.  It will go more smoothly as the year goes on.

For sixth period, Technology, we played Kahoot to review digital citizenship.  This was a final activity, before I give them my blessing and set them loose on their gamified journey in Tech class.  Speaking of that, I will work on the challenge board this weekend.

Kahoot, for those of you who don’t know, is a website that is very similar to bar trivia, but it’s educational. ¬†That’s probably the best way I can describe it. ¬†Thanks to my buddy Carla‘s awesome idea, we used Kahoot as a way to educate parents on new tech developments in our county, including GAFE and BYOD, yesterday at BTSN. ¬†The parents had a great time, and this planted the seed for today’s activity with the students.

By the way, the seventh graders totally called me out today on not giving them their Xbox party last year. ¬†D’oh!

Day Five – (Edited) A Little Less Blah

Today was Day Five. There’s not much to report. We did a diagnostic writing pre-assessment from the county. That’s basically it. Hopefully tomorrow will be more exciting. ¬†By the way, this is one of those short post days I was talking about.

Edit: I’m back. ¬†Ok, I’ll write a little more. ¬†The magic for me happened today when I got home, and I was able to do my videos¬†for the week. ¬†I did two flips, one for all of¬†my students, and a secret one for captains of the squads. ¬†In case you don’t feel like watching them, the first video was a very general recap of where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re going. ¬†The second one is a secret mission for all of the captains.

Again, it would probably be smarter of me to keep this hush, hush so that my students don’t find out, but:

  1. I don’t think they read my blog, and
  2. I secretly want them to see the video, so everyone will want to be a captain.

Muhahahahaha. ¬†I think everybody does want to be captain, but this will make it even more desirable. ¬†One of the items that students can “purchase” with their Class Dojo points from The Item Shop is a change of captain, but this is by team consensus. ¬†I think I’ll add an item to immediately grant themselves captain status. ¬†This will cost them dearly, my pretty. ¬†But it’s all good…to loosely paraphrase Chris Aviles, status is the most coveted¬†reward. ¬†Following that, there is access, power, and stuff, respectively. ¬†Being a captain hits three of the four, but from what Chris said, the kids don’t care that much about stuff to begin with.

My first year using Class Dojo, I used a lot of stuff as rewards. ¬†When you hit 100 points, you got a pizza party. ¬†Boom. ¬†It was ok…better than nothing, but it was costing me a bunch of money, and it probably wasn’t the most healthy thing to do.

Last year, I hit on access more. ¬†When you hit 100 points, you got an exclusive invite to a Dance Central Party. ¬†The kids loved this, but we ran out of time and didn’t get to everyone. ¬†I felt horrible about this, because they earned it, but you can only have two players battle at a time. ¬†Once the list started to pile up, it was a lost cause. ¬†I think I’m forgiven. ¬†Anyway, this year, I’m trying to hit all four domains, but focusing mainly on the first three.

I saw just how right Chris¬†was, when I read this blog post this morning. ¬†A student said that being captain, even for a short time, was “the best 60 seconds of this year!” ¬†Wow, that’s pretty deep, even though we’ve only been in school for five days.

I¬†loved the support that she gave to her classmate. ¬†I think this year will be pretty cool. ¬†The eighth graders are a phenomenal, talented group of kids. ¬†They don’t like taking diagnostic writing pre-tests very much, but we will work on that. ¬†We still have 175 days to go. ¬†It’s already going by way too quickly.

Day Four – Leveling Up

In the words of Ice Cube, “today was a good day.”

Feel free to press play, and let the instrumental serve as the soundtrack. ¬†Let me steal a page from my homie The Weird Teacher, and I will kick a funky rhyme.¬† I can’t wait to hear Sound Gecko read this one aloud.

Today everything went so well

Slept in, still got to work before the school bell

Said hello to my principal and colleagues

Gave a hug to all of my little buddies

My eighth graders grew and now they call me short

But it’s ok, I’ll still school them¬†on the bball court

Did some Snapshot for warm-up, #edmodo

Then we turned around and talked about the Dojo

Fourth period figured out their squads overnight

Looked around the class, there’s no drama in sight

Then we took a look at the leaderboard

We brainstormed some Item Shop rewards

Not from Chicago, no Bull, but he’s¬†the realest

Shout out to my homie Chris Aviles

Used his model and I told him he’s a genius

Check it out on Teachers Pay Teachers

Class time flew by, both periods

No interruptions, so I wasn’t furious

I’m impressed the kids are so curious

Tech class: #digcit, the kids tried to Google us

They had lots of knowledge that they dropped my way

I gotta say, it was an awesome fourth day

Fiki fiki fiki. Take that, Sound Gecko ūüôā

Throwback: Reflection on Gamification

Photo courtesy of jimsheaffer

Now – July 30, 2014

Hey, guys! ¬†We recently started up the DC Metro Area Google Educator Group, which is an awesome community of learning on Google. ¬†It’s open to the public, and anyone can join. ¬†It’s a little old place where we can get together…GEG, baby! Kidding. This is a content-rich and super-fun group for educators to learn together and collaborate.

We have only been around for a little over a week, but we are off to a very strong start.  Every so often, we will have a challenge that we will encourage our members to do.  The challenge for the first week is all about gamification.  Since we have gamified the group to increase member engagement, the topic just lent itself to being our first area of exploration.

Here is the introductory video, describing the mission of our group and our first challenge:

In addition to our Google Community, we have a very active Voxer group to accompany our GEG.  At the time of this writing, it has 26 members, currently discussing all aspects of gamification.  Participants range in experience from novices to game-masters, and everywhere in between.  We are having a blast learning from each other.

For every challenge, I will attempt (keyword: attempt) to reflect on what we are doing through a blog post.  This time, I am totally going to cheat, and recycle a post that I wrote during the beginning of last year.  Just so I set a good example for my students, and not to plagiarize myself, I am borrowing this from here.  

Wow, those old posts are super-embarrassing now (lol), but I’ll leave them up to document how much becoming “connected” has changed me, even on a personal level. I’ll also throw in a couple of other examples of my experiences with gamification.

Let’s take a journey back in time.

Then – October 17, 2014

Well, look at me…I’m on a roll. ¬†Two days in a row, blogging! ¬†That has got to be some kind of record. ¬†Now, now, don’t get spoiled (or scared, depending on your opinion of the blog so far)…I’m usually not very good at keeping to a writing schedule. ¬†But let’s savor life’s small victories, shall we?

Now onto today’s topic at hand: gamification. ¬†As many of you know, I teach middle school English and technology as my 9-5 (and 5-9…I have no life [see Unplugged 2 for more on how having a life sucks]). ¬†Enough with the parentheticals.

We are officially two months into the school year, and it¬†has gone pretty well. ¬†As for my English classes, I’ve been throwing a lot at them, and they’ve been throwing it right back at me since Day One. ¬†We keep each other on our toes. ¬†Technology on the other hand…

…nah, it’s still awesome.

Let me explain. ¬†I’m not some educational narcissist who goes around all day patting myself on the back, muttering, “good job, Sarah.” ¬†No, it’s not eeeeven like that. ¬†I wish you could have been a fly on the wall the first couple weeks of my fifth period (Tech) class. ¬†Well, actually, no, because I’d probably spray you with Raid.

I Got 99 Problems, But a Glitch Ain’t One

This group of students that I have now, they are my babies. ¬†I’ve been working with them going on six years. ¬†Now, they are in eighth grade. ¬†The first two weeks of school, they had an acute case of “Big Fish, Little Pond” syndrome. ¬†You know, how high school seniors are…but without the additional four years of maturity. ¬†Dun dun dun.

It didn’t really help things that technology is classified under electives. ¬†Historically, some students have taken this to mean, “Easy A.” ¬†And really, who could blame them? ¬†The way I’d been teaching it in previous years, it was pretty much showing kids stuff they already knew. ¬†I thought I was really doing something, and I guess I was (for maybe, a third grader…), but it was really basic and not very challenging. ¬†Microsoft Word, blah blah blah, internet searching skills, yadda yadda yadda, BORING!!!!

So this year, these SAME kids who have taken pretty much the SAME course for the fiftieth time, came in expecting the SAME thing. ¬†There were some behavioral issues…I’m not going to lie. ¬†But, little did they know that I had a secret weapon in my back pocket.

One word: gamification.  *GASP*

Leveling Up

What is gamification, you may ask? ¬†I’m so glad you did. ¬†I’m no expert, but what gamification means in my class is that we apply gaming concepts to learning. ¬†Remember all those hours you used to waste, playing Donkey Kong Country? ¬†You know, the one with Kong and his annoying sidekick Diddy, who would always get in the way when you were trying to jump on bad guys’ heads? ¬†Well, I do. ¬†We used to play that game for hours on end, when we should have been doing our homework. ¬†Shame on us.

That was about twenty years ago for me, but really, nothing has changed.  I mean, everything has changed, but nothing has really changed.  Sigh.  YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN!!!!

The fact remains that kids still love games. ¬†Luckily for me, I went to this amazing PD session over the summer offered through my county (shoutout to #pgtech, whut whut) that taught us how to gamify our instruction. ¬†Here’s how it works.

This is How We Do It

There are certain things common to most popular video games. ¬†You usually have levels. ¬†You usually have points. ¬†You usually have strategy guides. ¬†You usually have some Big Bad to defeat at the end. ¬†What gamifying instruction does, in a nutshell, is applies what kids love about games, to get them excited about learning. ¬†Well, except for the Big Bad. ¬†Let’s call it a Big Good…that helps you pass the levels…and gives you grades and stuff…ah, nevermind. ¬†This extended metaphor just isn’t working out the way it sounded in my head.

Anyway…back to the subject. ¬†Just like in a video game, everybody starts off at the beginning level. ¬†In my class, I call it the “Tutorial Stage.” ¬†Here, I have placed several basic assignments that all students must complete before they are allowed to move onto the fun stuff. ¬†They earn points for each assignment, and level up every time they hit a certain point threshold. ¬†I chose the arbitrary number of 2100 points, because every major assignment is worth 700 points. ¬†So, if they complete each assignment perfectly, they only have to do three at each level.

In each progressive level, the assignments get harder and harder, building on skills that the students learned in previous stages. ¬†However, the higher level assignments tend to be more fun. ¬†Students are allowed to go back, but not allowed to skip ahead…just like a video game!

Each assignment has a specified number of players.  Some are solo missions, and some are multiplayer.  Just like a video game!

Each stage has multiple missions. ¬†Of these missions, students can pick what interests them, as long as they reach the 2100 point threshold. ¬†These missions are usually new skills that the student isn’t as familiar with, such as coding and video production. ¬†As stated earlier, there are strategy guides and walkthroughs for most missions…get this…video tutorials. ¬†Just like a video game!

This post is getting really long and my eyes are starting to shut, so I’m going to go ahead and post it now. ¬†If you would like to see an example of gamification in action, feel free to visit our class site.

I’m always telling my students to end their writing with a proper conclusion, so I should follow my own advice, no matter how sleepy I am lol. ¬†We are nearing the end of the first quarter, and the inaugural run of the gamification of Tech. ¬†I am so impressed by everything the students have done so far. ¬†I can’t say that they’ve turned a 180 in terms of behavior, but it’s definitely north of 150.

I’m sure that there will soon come a time when students are regularly teaching me new things about technology. ¬†That’s how I’ll know that I’ve done right by them. ¬†Already, they are turning in projects that are way better than my crappy examples. ¬†Gamification is rooted in inquiry and PBL, and helps to address the multiple intelligences. ¬†There’s some teacher-talk for you academic types. ¬†Ok, that was the Nyquil talking, so don’t blame me. ¬†Nighty night.

Last thing: I’m so grateful to have learned about this concept from my fellow educators. ¬†Thanks so much for sharing ūüôā ūüôā ūüôā

Then – January 11, 2014

Mid-point video clarifying how to gamify.


Then – June 30, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 11.14.23 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 11.14.36 PM

Mind. Blown.

Looking Ahead

I’m still growing on my journey to gamification. It’s a work in progress. ¬†I want to thank all of the members of my PLN for all of your great feedback, inspiration, and advice.

This coming school year, I really want to gamify my English class, too.  We had a gamified boot camp to prepare for the standardized testing, but I really want to roll it out for the full year like I did with tech.  

One thing that came up in the Voxer chat that I want to try is putting them into teams/guilds. ¬†Another is letting them buy things with their points. There was a distinction made that it’s best to have them purchase special privileges and the like, not necessarily to reward them with parties.

Also, I am thinking of ways to marry my love of flipping with gamification, even more. ¬†Stay tuned…something big is coming (hopefully) lol.

Come join in the learning fun and grow with us in our Google Educator Group.  Although we are based in the DC Metro Area, we welcome educators from everywhere.  Feel also free to spread the word.  We hope to see you there.


#lifehack: Four Ways that Tech Can Help You Reach Fitness Goals

(Featured image courtesy of colonnade.)

Hey guys! ¬†Ordinarily, I do #edtech ¬†tutorials, but this one is a little different. We all have a lot to do, and it’s often a struggle to find time to take care of ourselves. ¬†In this interactive session, I’ll share with you my journey thus far. ¬†Surprisingly, it incorporates many of the best practices of technology integration, LOL!

Topics include: building a support group (#PLN), motivation (#gamification),¬†accountability (#blogging),¬†and fitness apps (#flipped instruction). ¬†Guess I’m not so different from my students after all ūüôā

Oh, and by the way, this isn’t just for “teechurs,” it can benefit anyone trying to keep it tight in 2014 ūüėÄ