How I Use It
I like applying game mechanics to my classes (gamification). ClassCraft takes that concept to a another level by encouraging teachers to make students themselves characters in the class game. Students level up by meeting positive metrics, and loose points y meeting negative metrics. Remember decades ago when there was serious resistance to anything roleplaying-esque in the classroom? Remember when Dungeons and Dragons was accused of promoting suicides among teens? Those days are, thankfully, gone forever.
The concept is very good, but the execution was poor when I reviewed this product earlier in the academic year. I do recognize that services such as ClassCraft can rapidly respond to customer feedback, so hopefully the team has modified their material since. In the iteration that I saw, a suggested negative consequence for a low test score was to give the student less time on the next test! I think the whole focus on grades and homework was flawed. Why not character classes that promote interpersonal skills and social development? So, a child can be a healer, reflecting a person who is particularly interpersonal and concerned for the well being of others. A wizard class can be that studious student. Level points can be awarded for conspicuous acts f other-focusedness, such as a student assisting another student in understanding a math problem, or consoling a classmate through an emotionally challenging experience? In this way students can be rewarded for see their classmates and themselves as parts of a team, to which they bring their unique balance of gifts. Used in this way, classCraft has some potential, but at that level, a teacher can easily build his or her own system without resorting to paying for the ClassCraft service.