Article written by Sergiu Bumbacea and Filip Popescu M.Sc
In this post we are touching on the topic of experiential education, with 3 examples of tools suitable for kids.
Experiential education is an immersive, student-focused approach that engages learners of all ages, backgrounds and experience levels. It is effectively used in K-12 schools, higher education, therapy, corporate training and other areas for educational learning, personal development and skills building. Read more here.
Combines direct experience with focused reflection;
Builds on past knowledge and experiences;
Requires active involvement in meaning construction;
Encourages collaboration and exchange of ideas and perspectives;
Can be course focused or in-class, community focused, or work focused.
We limited our research on three examples that we want to introduce to you:
Classcraft seamlessly blends into regular classroom practices, facilitating cooperation and communication while providing students with immediate input on soft skills, such as participation, completion of assignments, and actions in the classroom
Use the game to motivate students and to build collaboration and teamwork skills.
Award points for encouraging classmates, completing assignments on time, respecting noise levels, and more.
Even though students collaborate only to win points at first, it is likely that they will develop important social skills along the way with teacher help.
Teachers can, and should, make the program their own – adapting the game for their students’ unique needs and personalities.
Being attentive to these details upfront will help craft a virtual environment of motivation and positive reinforcement instead of a punitive one.
Teachers can also use the program to teach concepts through a gamified storyline, pulling assignments in from your computer or Google Drive or writing the story yourself.
Prodigy is a free, adaptive math game for grades 1-7 that integrates Common Core or Ontario math into a role-playing game using a Pokemon-style wizardry theme.
Based on the student’s profile and an invisible diagnostic run during the preliminary tutorial, students are placed at a math level. As they play, question difficulty is increased or decreased depending upon their answers and facility with the skills. If a student struggles with a concept, following questions will backfill the necessary skills.
the site offers prepared parent letters to save teacher time and get parent buy-in for this game-based math program. The letters do a great job of sharing the purpose of the Prodigy math site and explaining how parents can get involved in learning.
the site reminds students NOT to use their real name when creating their avatar and why. Youngers often don’t understand the importance of online privacy.
Teachers don’t have to be experts to have students use this game (as opposed to Minecraft where it really helps if the teacher knows what’s going on).