Monday, September 10, 2018

#PodPeeks: Well PlayED podcasts

I've been hooked on the podcast "Well PlayED" by Michael Matera. His focus is gaming in the classroom, but really it's SOOO much more! I see his focus as just good, solid teaching. He and his interviewees spend plenty of time reflecting on their time as a student as well as a teacher. 

I encourage you to not only tune in (I'll highlight some episodes below) but subscribe so you can continue your own journey. Here are highlights from 4 of his episodes. If you have even the slightest interest in gaming in your class, this is a MUST LISTEN!

Episode 3: Diving Deep Into Content

Michael talks with Adam Bold (@MrBold05).

The big takeaway I get from this is how Adam changed his learning targets into "mission targets" for his students. His classroom is designed around the theme of being spies who are trying to recover lost history and work for an agency. They use various sources to do their research.

Michael shares a quote at the end which I love ... 
"Play is the highest form of research." ~ Albert Einstein.

Episode 7: Quests for knowledge

Michael talks with Tisha Richmond (@tishrich) about game mechanics. Their focus is "quests". They talk about them as mini adventures for students to go above and beyond. I love it. We all want our students to do this, but most won't without some kind of incentive, some kind of reason. Here are a few things they shared about quests in their classes:
  • based on content's essential questions
  • don't share the quests all at the same time - spread them out
  • should be optional 
  • do not attach to student grades
  • only allow them for a defined amount of time
  • keep them open-ended, fairly unstructured

Episode 53: Homage to the greatest game ever!

Michael discusses the game of Zelda with John Meehan (@MeehanEDU).

I'm not a fan of Zelda (nope, I've never even played it), but John shared 3 questions that I think are super important to keep in mind when teaching, and not just with games: 
  1. What is it teaching me?
  2. What is it rewarding me with?
  3. What is it encouraging me to do?
... "do things that make you better/stronger than you were before" ...

Episode 57: Square One - Getting Started in Gamification

Michael interviews Chris Hesselbein (@ChrisHesselbein). 

A few thoughts from this episode:
  • games need identity, challenge, and feedback
  • keep in mind how you "feel" playing the game
  • story problems in math is a great 1st step into gaming
  • do NOT try to gamify your entire class - pick one piece
"Gamification is design that places most emphasis on the human motivation in the process. In essence, it's human focused design."

~Yu-kai Chou

About the author: Michael Matera (@mrmatera)

I hope you find value in this podcast. As always, if you have any questions, reach out below or find me on Twitter @kiefersj or Google+ +SarahKiefer .

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