Alternate Reality Gaming Spices Up Professional Development
Saint Leo University uses a game-based storyline to invigorate professional learning.
By Dennis Pierce, 01/27/16
Borden and his colleagues teamed up with Edchat Interactive, a company that is working to transform online professional development into a more interactive experience that reflects how people learn best, and Games4Ed, a nonprofit organization that brings together educators, researchers, game developers, and publishers to advance the use of games and other immersive learning strategies in education.
“People don’t learn by watching somebody discuss a series of slides; they learn best by interacting with others and reflecting. Great teachers always have people break into groups to accomplish a task, and then the different groups all report back to the group as a whole. That should be replicable online.”
Adult Learning Through Play
Using simulations for professional development is fairly common. For instance, in SimSchool, a program developed by educational scientists at the University of North Texas and the University of Vermont, new and pre-service teachers can try out their craft in a simulated classroom environment, doing the same activities as actual teachers but getting real-time feedback from the simulated program and their instructors.
Christopher Like, a science teacher and STEAM coordinator for the Bettendorf Community School District in Iowa, developed a game-based model for ed tech professional development that has been adapted by K-12 school districts across the nation. His game, Mission Possible, has teachers complete 15-minute “missions” in which they learn technology skills and advance to successively higher levels. “It engages teachers’ competitive nature just like Call of Duty does with my eldest son,” he wrote in a blog post.