Seeking to bring the qualities of well-designed games to pedagogical assessment, the University of Michigan created a learning management system that uses gaming elements such as competition, badges and unlocks to provide students with a personalized pathway through their courses.
a new type of learning management system called GradeCraft. GradeCraft borrows game elements such as badges and unlocks to govern students’ progress through a course. With unlocks, for example, you have to complete a task before moving to the next level.
Written in Ruby on Rails and hosted on Amazon Web Services, GradeCraft was created by a small team of students and faculty with additional software support from Ann Arbor-based developer Alfa Jango. Their work received support from UM’s Office of Digital Education and Innovation and the Office of the Provost. GradeCraft can work as a stand-alone platform or in conjunction with a traditional LMS via the LTI (Learning Tools Interoperability) protocol.
Beyond social media, there is also a clear disconnect between how college admins reach out to their students and what students actually pay attention to. While the average college admin, like most adults, is used to reading and sending emails, students are quickly moving away from using email in their daily lives and getting them to check it regularly is painful.
A fantastic New York Times article in the fall examined college student use of technology and the results were fascinating.
While some faculty members are hesitant to contact students on whichever social media platform is in vogue, others have explored texting as an alternative to email.
The paper, which is being presented at next month’s Information and Telecommunications Education and Research Association conference, also recommends colleges should consider using texting and social media platforms to reach students. However, the findings still suggest email can be an effective method of communication.
How Millennials use and control social media, Published
Social Media Usage Trends Among Higher Education Faculty ;
The proposed social media privacy law, scheduled to be considered by the state Senate Wednesday, bars any institution from asking or requiring an applicant or enrolled student to disclose a user name or password for a personal social media account.
Under the bill, a student could also not be prevented from participating in extracurricular activities if they refuse to disclose social media accounts or provide a list of contacts associated with those accounts.
New Classrooms, a nonprofit geared toward personalizing education in schools, is expanding its “Teach to One: Math” model to 13,000 students at 40 schools in 10 states and the District of Columbia
According to New Classrooms, Teach to One (TTO) modernizes the predominant, century-old model of one teacher to 25 or more students teaching from one textbook to a personalized learning experience for every student
Are there any other platforms like Zaption that you recommend?
For K12 users, we recommend you look at EDpuzzle or Nearpod. Both allow you to quickly create high-quality interactive content. For Higher Ed, we encourage you to look at HapYak or H5P – an open source interactive media platform. Finally, Vizia offers another simple but effective option for users of any kind.
Zaption is shutting down. Thankfully, educators have alternatives
For those looking to replace Zaption, Vizia is a viable alternative for creating interactive video content.
That’s when the MacArthur Foundation highlighted the winning projects of its Badges for Lifelong Learning competition at the Digital Media and Learning Conference in Chicago. The competition, co-sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Mozilla Foundation, had attracted nearly 100 competitors a year earlier. The winners shared $2 million worth of development grants.
Evidence of Lifelong Learning
A digital badge or credential is a validation, via technology, that a person has earned an accomplishment, learned a skill or gained command of specific content. Typically, it is an interactive image posted on a web page and connected to a certain body of information that communicates the badge earner’s competency.
Credly is a company that offers off-the-shelf credentialing and badging for organizations, companies and educational institutions. One of its projects, BadgeStack, which has since been renamed BadgeOS, was a winner in the 2013 MacArthur competition. Virtually any individual or organization can use its platform to determine criteria for digital credentials and then award them, often taking advantage of an open-source tool like WordPress. The credential recipient can then use the BadgeOS platform to manage the use of the credential, choosing to display badges on social media profiles or uploading achievements to a digital resume, for instance.
Finkelstein and others see, with the persistently growing interest in competency-based education (CBE), that badging is a way to assess and document competency.
There are obstacles, though, to universal acceptance of digital credentialing. For one, not every community, company or organization sees a badge as something of value.
When a player earns points for his or her success in a game, those points have no value outside of the environment in which the game is played. For points, badges, credentials — however you want to define them — to be perceived as evidence of competency, they have to have portability and be viewed with value outside of their own environment.