Recently, Florida made a jump to their version of the controversial Common Core Standards for education. This significant and abrupt shift has caused school districts to spend millions of dollars purchasing new textbooks to support these new standards, new standardized assessments to measure student achievement of these standards, and a new teacher evaluation system to measure how effective teachers are teaching the new standards. Most veteran teachers see this as another example of the education pendulum swinging back the other way again. When the winds change again in five or ten years, it’ll swing back again. Personally, the winds also seem to coincide with times when I find myself changing grade levels and/or subject areas.
If you’ve seen my game sites you’ll know that I’ve put a lot of work into creating them. I don’t want them to float off into cyberspace just because they no longer fit the new curriculum and standards shifts. I know my passion for gamified curriculum is still supported in the new visions for meaningful, motivating and engaging researched-based education around the world. The question for me has become, how can I continue to develop and use a gamified instructional model with interactive website components that will support any curriculum? Here are my current thoughts:
• Redesign the interactive website so that each area focuses on general language skills and/or use Common Core exemplars rather than curriculum units
• By completing an area, students will use the new knowledge to decipher a password needed to unlock the next area
• Each area can be accessed at any time if they can decipher the password
• Areas can be completed in any order
• Areas can have multiple levels built-in to better scaffold skill acquisition as needed and create more of an individualized experience for the “player”
• A site map will provide a general guide to the skills covered in each area.
• Teachers will be able to contact me for access to additional game and skill resources (possibly for a nominal fee)
Those are just my current ideas. Check back for more information as I begin developing the new site. And wish me luck!!