Games & Learning: #Classcraftchat

As part of my graduate coursework at CU Denver, I participated in a twitter chat related to games and learning. In this post, I’ve shared some thoughts around my experience networking and learning from this games-based learning community.

The theme:

Class craft!

Okay, so what is class craft?! Don’t worry if you don’t know, I didn’t know either!

In a nutshell, class craft is a role-playing game that helps teachers manage, motivate and engage their students. You can learn more about it here.

It probably would have helped if I went to the website before the chat but, I didn’t. I chose to dive right in. Boy, was I in for a surprise!

The #ClasscraftChat “newbie” experience:

As I mentioned in my last post, I am pretty comfortable with how twitter chats work. However, this chat is geared towards a very niche community; less about thought leadership and more about a coming together to share ideas and experiences with the game, and learn from one another.

The chat moderator, Class craft, posted questions to participants (teachers across the U.S.) about their classroom experiences with the game. Things like customization techniques, student buy-in strategies, as well as general troubleshooting were among topics discussed. Obviously, with 0 experience, I couldn’t contribute much.

However, I picked up that the teachers using this game in the classroom really believe in fostering student-student collaboration, problem solving, and decision making skills. I couldn’t help but think about this while reading Gee and Hayes, Nurturing Affinity Spaces and Game-Based Learning this morning. What timing! Their research argues that schools don’t nurture deep learning and growth the same way an affinity space does.

I think class craft is an excellent example of how educators can blend the power of an affinity space with formal education. Students who participate in class craft are leaders, designers, and (from what I could tell) have a sense of belonging.

Closing thoughts:

Although I wasn’t able to participate much, I’m glad I joined. It opened up a new perspective for me and allowed me to reflect on and make a connection with our course readings!

#Classcraftchat even quoted me in their twitter chat recap!

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