Week 6: Tourism Victoria should get in on this!

Gamification seems to be “so hot right now” in education. And although we may all not be the Mugatu’s of the education world, would it hurt if more educators attempted to bring a gaming component to their students’ learning?

On the one hand, I do not believe that learning has to be sugar coated in order to be delivered, 100% of the time.  On a similar vein, when I was a newbie science teacher, I relaxed quite a bit when I realized that I did not have to be Bill Nye the Science Guy, EVERY class, in order to be an effective teacher.

On the other hand, I have found over the years, that it does help to have a “bag of tricks”– that is, a source of lessons that are noticeably shinier than the others, to have students not only learn but really enjoy the process, as well.

Craig Brumwell’s  “Dilemma 1944: Kitsilano High School“,  exemplifies the shiniest of the shiny lessons, that I have ever come across.  It is so shiny in fact that he deserves some sort of shiny award to go with it! Dilemma 1944 perfectly marries history, with personal reflection, whilst using technology as a conduit. I am so incredibly impressed with what he has created, that all I want to do is think about ways to utilized this concept in a Math or Physics class.

But sadly, I mustn’t, as our question this week dastardly included the phrase, “other than schools”.  (To be exact, “What organizations or audiences, other than schools, may benefit from using this or similar mobile learning objects?”)

As other classmates have already touched on some great ideas, my contribution to this week’s discussion will be fairly specific.  I think that Tourism <insert your homeland>, should really tap into this idea, big time.  In my homeland, Victoria, there are at least two, possibly more, walking tours that take folks around the town.  The Hands of Time  and The Signs of Lekwungen are walking tours that have PDF brochures that lead their participants to historically relevant sculptures throughout the downtown core. Using the geolocation features of ARIS, along with QR codes, people could earn points along with their learning.

Although I have not had any appreciable experience with institutionalized mobile learning, I will say that when I use my own phone in an educational context, I feel empowered and very happy that my huge cell phone bill is somewhat justified. Most of the informal “learning” I engage in is most definitely not “gamified”– the knowledge itself, is my reward.  Do I get giddy when a tweet gets more than my usual amount of recognition?  Perhaps a little. I am not certain if popularity and recognition is the same as gamification, however– I think they may be two different things.

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