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Building a Bridge between Learning and Play is the Future of Education

Updated: May 8, 2021

In most of my recent posts, I have been talking about some of my philosophies in education. It has been a long journey in actually implementing a plan based on these methods. Luckily I am now in a position where I have the freedom and support to be able to explore and create this vision. I would like to share some of the things I have developed here. Please take a moment to check out my Learning Manifesto Interview here:

I was brought into this position to initially teach Middle School Computer Science and Robotics. I did not have any experience in these fields but I took the job for a chance to be at a top-notch institution in the wonderful Dubai, UAE. They believe that with my background and knowledge in technology and design that I would be able to figure it out and indeed I did. I took the year to learn and implement the instruction my way. I then saw an opportunity to propose a change to really make the position become more of a natural fit. Now, the program has emerged into Middle School Design and Innovation.

Here are some of the concepts that we focus on for this system:

  • Increase in student engagement

  • Authentic curiosity

  • Intrinsic and extrinsic Motivation

  • Freedom of failure

  • Digital Badges/Micro-credentials

  • Personalized learning

  • Hybrid learning module

  • Student Choice

  • Entrepreneurship/ Workforce skills

  • Gamification

  • Design Thinking

Next, I will take you on a tour through some of the content of the class starting with the Unboxing Video:

Students then begin to enter into one of the first quests created through Classcraft called Entrepreneurship Academy. Here is the intro video into the course and a view of the quest.

The first task is for students to create an ePortfolio by following the steps in the following video.

Here is an example of an ePortfolio at the end of the semester. You can view some of the badges that the student has obtained through our system.

You can view all of our quests in Classcraft here. Students have the ability to choose the quest that piques their interest.

Students are navigated through the course by maintaining their e-portfolio according to the scheduled checkpoint (total of 6 checkpoints) as seen below.

The next quest available was The Digital Citizen and the Age of Technology. Check out the intro video and quest seen below.

The next available quest is the Design University. Here our students begin to learn about the design thinking process that is adapted to our course standards. Check out the intro video, Design Cycle/standards, and the Quest below.

Next up, is Coder's Matrix where students will begin to code. They are assigned to courses specific to their experience. This is our most robust quest yet as it will feed into future quests. Check out the intro video and a view of the quest below.

The next quest is Maker's Space. Check out the intro video and a view of the quest below. This quest is still in development.

The next quest is The Third Dimension. Check out the intro video and a view of the quest below. This quest is also still in development.

The next few quests are being developed as well.

Students obtain digital badges upon completion of various tasks showing mastery. They also receive points that function within our gamified system using Classcraft. Students are encouraged to use skills obtained in other classes. We also find areas of collaboration with other courses where students can earn credit and obtain other digital badges as well.

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