In this episode of Board Gaming with Education, Dustin and Alex talk about their experiences using games, game-based learning, and gamification in their classrooms. Over the past six years, Alex Krempely has taught various Social Studies, English, and Drama classes in the United States, China, and Spain. He is a major proponent of gamification and has employed various game systems to improve student engagement and create a classroom community. He uses simulations, breakouts, and party games to get students involved and create a competitive learning atmosphere. Alex has also used Class Dojo and ClassCraft as help to manage student behaviors. Examples of lessons and resources can be found at his website: http://mrkrempely.weebly.com/.
Thank you to Purple Planet Music for the wonderful contribution of their songs “Retro Gamer,” “Mumbai Mood,” and “Fizzy Jazz” for our interview. desert island, and post-production segments. These songs can be found in full on this music archive.
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Alex Krempely – 2:36
Over the past six years, Alex Krempely has taught various Social Studies, English, and Drama classes in the United States, China, and Spain. He is a major proponent of gamification and has employed various game systems to improve student engagement and create a classroom community. He uses simulations, breakouts, and party games to get students involved and create a competitive learning atmosphere. Alex has also used Class Dojo and ClassCraft as help to manage student behaviors.
Simulations as a Student – 4:23
Alex shares a story about his high school history teacher. His teacher used a colony simulation to teach various aspects of colonization, survival, and collaboration. This is one lesson that really stuck with Alex throughout his teaching career, and you can see this in his current teaching style as a high school history teacher.
Enjoying Teaching – 7:50
Dustin and Alex approach the topic of enjoying the lessons we teach. As teachers, it is really important to design lessons we are excited to teach.
Alex also talks about stories and experiences about games he uses to create a sense of empathy and respect among peers. In his class, during downtime or as a reward, Alex plays various social deduction games like Mafia and Werewolf.
Prosocial Emotions – 9:20
Dustin and Alex talk about the prosocial emotions that gams can provide. You can listen to their discussion about how games can provide prosocial emotions. If you are even more curious, check out Jane McGonigal’s book “Reality is Broken.” Check out a quote below:
“Prosocial emotions including love, compassion, admiration, and devotion are all feel-good emotions that are directed towards others. They’re crucial to our longterm happiness because they create lasting social bonds. Most of the prosocial emotions that we get from gaming today aren’t necessarily built into the game design. They’re more of a side effect of spending more time playing together.”
Using Games from Day 1 – 11:25
Alex plays a game his very first day in school. He feels this is absolutely crucial to developing a student-teacher relationship from day 1. He has a really clever guessing game that he plays about food. Be sure to listen to the episode to learn more about how he implements games from day 1.
ESL/ELL Games in Class – 13:50
Alex talks about his use of the basic games he used in his early days of teaching and how he has evolved in his lesson design today. Dustin and Alex touch on the topic of language learning in Asia, and how they have used game-based learning to tackle low levels of engagement in their language classrooms. Alex shares his story about how some of the initial games he implemented were not efficient and as effective. He has learned to use games that are much more conducive to creating a stronger learning environment.
Be sure to listen to learn about a game he incorporates in his language learning lessons.
Using Simulations – 20:00
Alex shares some other simulations he has used in his social studies and history classroom. A couple of the simulations that he has implemented include The Boston Massacre and a Korean diplomatic simulation.
Alex also shares a great point on how games and simulations allow students to become the center of the classroom. Students have the opportunity to take control of their own learning which is extremely empowering.
Gamification- Class Dojo and Classcraft – 29:30
Class Dojo and Classcraft are two different classroom management overlays that act as gamification systems to highlight behaviors in your classroom. Class Dojo is geared toward younger students, while Classcraft is geared toward older students. Alex shares his insights on using both of these systems in his classes.
WorldsXP and Story Building – 39:50
Dustin and Alex talk about WorldsXP and some of the features included in the gamification kit.
WorldsXP is a streamlined gameful experience for your learning environment to increase engagement, develop class culture, and reinforce positive behavior. By implementing WorldsXP you will be able to enhance the learning experience for your adventurers through different gamification elements. As the Kit Master, your Adventurers (students) will choose characters, give them their own unique personalities, go on thematic RPG adventures, and earn XP and achievements all while accomplishing three main goals in your learning environment.
The kit includes two decks of 27 unique character cards, 27 item and achievement cards, 108 XP cards, and a 40-page Teacher’s Handbook loaded with tips for implementing the kit and using gamification and game-based learning for your learning environment.
With WorldsXP you will have a gamified curriculum as a part of your learning environment with the core components of characters, an RPG Adventure Story, and XP. This can be “laid on top of” an already designed classroom management structure and curriculum. You will be able to use the XP system as a behavioral management system, and you will be able to integrate learning objectives into the RPG Adventure Stories. It will help to encourage engagement and motivation, develop culture, and reinforce positive behavior in your adventure space. These are the core components of WorldsXP. Be sure to sign-up for the email list below to receive updates about the advanced features and to know when WorldsXP launches on Kickstarter.
Games from the Episode
Throughout the episode, several games are mentioned. If any of these games sound like something you might enjoy playing yourself or in your class, you can help support our podcast by purchasing these games through our Amazon affiliate links. We will earn a small commission at no expense to you. Check out the games below: