Let the games begin

Child Playing

What I love about summer holidays is that you feel like a kid again.

The luxury of time and space during holidays allows you to have more fun. You play with the kids more and discover your inner child again. You also think of all those wonderful childhood memories when you were having fun.

As we get older, fun and games are relegated to the fringes – fun is something ‘trivial’ that we fit in around the seriousness of our daily adult lives. No wonder we yearn for the simple days of our childhood when we find the going is getting tough!

The good news is that fun and games are coming back more into our adult lives. Yes, 2012 is an Olympic year. But the concept of games goes well beyond the Olympics – games are now influencing the way we work and learn.

Gamification is a movement that takes fun and games away from the periphery and places it into the centre of our lives. More specifically, gamification refers to the use of game design elements to engage audiences in solving problems. These elements include high-levels of interactivity and the recognition of achievements and rewards through badges. The aim is to make learning fun and to motivate students to learn better.

Jacaranda’s Knowledge Quest engages and motivates students by putting the fun back into the learning of English skills. It is an immersive, interactive game that specifically targets NAPLAN testing.

I once taught English up to Year 10. Knowledge Quest is exactly what I needed when I was trying to make students believe that learning grammar was fun. I didn’t succeed here – my students knew I was pretending!

As for now, I am really having fun as I show teachers across Australia how the game context in Knowledge Quest can be used to learn English skills. It is wonderful to see so many teachers having fun as they jump over obstacles and navigate nouns, possessive adjectives, prepositions and verbs in an attempt to prove their grammatical prowess.

And the best part is when these teachers say that they feel like kids again!

Knowledge Quest

Knowledge Quest – video

Knowledge Quest

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