How can I possibly compete?
Students verbalize a desire for every interaction to be "fun." Is this realistic? The Burgess empire has definitely reignited a passion for edutainment in an effort to engage. I commend Dave for spreading his philosophy, disrupting the worksheet/test mentality. I employ many of the #TLAP principles in my own delivery of #ELA content. I utilize #gamification to incentivize extra effort and make review more exciting and competitive. However, I wonder if I am doing my students a disservice. I am doing all the work to get the pupils to expend effort in learning. What will happen when they enter the workforce and must motivate themselves to succeed?
The top 10% of all the students I teach are the ones who are self-motivated.
They plan ahead.
They avoid procrastination.
They ask for clarification when they miss test items.
They take opportunities to raise scores with revisions when given the chance, even when those scores won't impact their overall GPA.
I have a feeling that these students minimize their time on social media and gaming.
Watching the now daily frenzy that is HQ Trivia as students wait for the bus in my classroom, I observe the physical stimulation that accompanies successful rounds of this app I hear in stereo on cellphones. Their reactions to correct answers are visceral.
It is frightening.
Brilliant marketing on the part of Rus Yusupov and Colin Kroll has caught this pubescent crowd hook, line and sinker.
What's a teacher to do? At my core, I am not a marketing department trained to package and deliver. I am a navigator, an explainer, a storyteller. How do we, as a profession, navigate this new crossroads? Although school is becoming increasingly connected with technological advancements, utilizing opportunities for short bursts of dopamine transmission, the truth remains that the children I teach have to learn how to self-motivate, self-assess, and most importantly, self-calm. Resilience is a key to happiness and longevity. When a new life regenerates every 20 minutes on screen, how do we teach "real world" mental health?
I applaud Jane McGonigal for her efforts in helping others with a strategy that meets them in the modern age. I am wondering whether educators should shift the idea of "school" from teaching content first with life-skills woven through the experience to teaching life-skills, with content as the opportunity for practice. While it may sound like semantics, this philosophy change is actually a major one that would completely change the way I approach my profession. I would love to hear your thoughts.