Classcraft integrates easily with everyday classroom activities, encouraging teamwork and collaboration while giving students instant feedback on soft skills, such as attendance, homework completion, and classroom behavior. Use the game to motivate students, awarding points when they encourage classmates, complete assignments on time, respect noise levels, and more. Even if students are cooperating just to gain points at first, with teacher support, they'll likely learn valuable SEL skills along the way. Creative teachers might even find a way for students to nominate others for points, which may encourage them to see the good that others do.
Teachers can, and should, make the program their own by adapting the game for their students' unique needs and personalities. Being attentive to these details up front will help craft a virtual environment of motivation and positive reinforcement instead of a punitive one. Teachers can also use the program to teach concepts through a gamified storyline, pulling assignments in from your computer or Google Drive or writing the story yourself. Be careful, though: Once the creative juices get flowing, it can be easy to get lost in your own adventures. Also, some of the preset powers and events may cause strife, especially among younger students. Be sure to take a close look and customize them as necessary. For example, optional random events include suggestions such as "The player with the least HP loses 15 HP." Although that may work well in some classrooms, students who are struggling may feel targeted for being the "weakest" player, especially if the game is broadcast via an interactive whiteboard or screen.Continue reading Show less
Classcraft is an online fantasy-themed behavior and learning-management role-playing game (also available as Chrome, Android, and iOS apps). Basically, this means cool avatars with special powers going on quests and earning points for successfully completely them individually and as a team. Teachers set up games and manage students via a dashboard. Students are assigned a character -- Warrior, Healer, or Mage -- and work in teams to gain experience points (XP) through positive behaviors and academic achievements. As students level up, they earn powers with real-world effects, such as a chance to eat a snack or earn a break during class, which they can buy using Action Points (AP). Students can also lose health points (HP) via random events or for negative behaviors; these events lower their score unless another player intercedes on their behalf. Students who lose all of their HP must face consequences set by the teacher, such as cleanup duty or loss of privileges. For XP and HP scenarios, there are preset suggestions, but teachers can customize to fit their classroom climate. Teacher-created quests and boss battles can be a unique way to immerse students in learning or reviewing concepts, and teachers may find they're worth the extra setup time. Note that some of these features are available only with a paid account.
Classcraft also provides tools for student engagement via features like classroom forums, trainable pets, and gold (GP), which allow students to outfit their avatars. Plus, parent accounts let grown-ups keep an eye on their child's performance and award extra GP if the teacher allows it. The knowledge center contains tutorials, teacher forums, and an interactive chat feature, making the game an all-around collaborative experience.
By putting students into teams where success is contingent upon cooperation, Classcraft puts a new spin on traditionally individualized behavior management. Since students work together within the game's premise, the issues that arise feel like challenges to be tackled together. Features such as the Makus Valley noise meter and boss battles for formative assessment keep students on their toes and accountable to their teams, while the quests allow teachers to differentiate instruction by modifying complexity and allowing students to move at their own pace. It should be noted that instant feedback via projection capabilities or 1-to-1 devices informs the entire class when students take damage, so teachers may opt to show students only their group's score, especially in cases where negative feedback could create problems with sensitive students. Also, teachers should be mindful that some students may be experiencing hardship or trauma that may affect classroom behavior; relationship-building should take precedence over behavior management. And it's very possible some kids will find the system confusing or too complex, especially if they're not familiar with the games Classcraft emulates.
Setup entails quite a bit of work, but the silent authority the game allows teachers may be preferable to direct confrontation. While explicit teaching of social skills and conflict resolution will be an important factor in the game's success, most students will enjoy striving toward real-world powers and will find the immediate feedback helpful and playful rather than negative. In addition, the game's developers are responsive to user feedback, regularly upgrading and updating the system for a more streamlined user experience.