So as promised on my Periscope, here is my post about an awesome new classroom management tool – Classcraft
When you first create an account, you are automatically greeted with a pop-up that allows you to explore, watch video tutorials or read FAQ. I found this extremely helpful as a newbie and was able to navigate very easily after watching only 2 video tutorials.
Now for the meat – Why Classcraft? Not only is it gamification at its finest, but it also promotes collaboration and keeps students accountable to themselves and their teammates. Rewards and “punishments” are completely customizable, although they do provide you with a few examples to begin with. Students must first decide what type of character they want to be (mage, warrior or healer) and then are put into teams that consist of each type of character. I plan to do this on the first day and then use those groups for their seating plan for the first month or two.
There are extensive features including “The Wheel of Destiny” which allows the teacher to select a student or group at random to answer a question or perform a task for HP. The more HP a player/student gets, the faster they can level up. The students can also name their group and pick a logo for ease of recognition.
Another fun feature that is included is the “Random Event” feature. If you want to regain their attention, or keep their attention until the end of class, this can be promised. Be forewarned though, not all events are positive. Some could ensue with the loss of points… dun dun dun! lol
Here is an example of a positive event where everyone gained 5 AP. Just remember that HP is life and AP is experience points. Health is required to stay out of the Book of Laments (a punishment) and experience is needed to level up. Because students are playing both as individuals and as groups, it hold them more accountable for their actions.
Another feature that I really liked was the Quests page. At the moment, it consists of a countdown and a stopwatch quest that can be used for in-class tasks that need to be completed. If a student or a whole group completed their work within the timeframe, they can earn AP.
The product is free with options to upgrade for more features (gold and customization). There are forums that the students can use for collaboration (moderated of course) and student logins.
Teachers also have a separate dashboard that includes a gradebook, a users forum, student analytics and a moderator section for posts. All of this is free and I am really excited to try it this year in my classroom. There are also apps available for both IOS and Android making it portable. The last thing I want to mention is that if you are a high school teacher or a specials teacher, you can share your class with other teachers, enabling students to gain points in other classes under one account.