Using RAMP to keep kids learning during lockdown

Learning 1585304534 Using RAMP to keep kids learning during lockdown

It was thinking about my children’s current situation of having to learn remotely. So, based on current experience and the aforementioned blog, here are some tips on using RAMP to help your kids stay engaged and motivated during home-based learning.

Setting the Scene

I have two kids who are currently at home doing school work, 8 and 12. They both have totally different learning styles, needs and of course work to do. The 8-year-old is normally very task-focused with a need for total control of her environment and rigorous routines. The 12-year-old is totally different with some significant learning/processing difficulties in the form of dyslexia and dyscalculia. Read More ...

Teaching the Value of Money with Games

Roblox Teaching the Value of Money with Games

We don’t give our daughters pocket money. There are many reasons for this, but one of them is a concern about their understanding of the value of money. This is especially true for our eldest daughter who has dyscalculia. This means she struggles with, among other things, understanding magnitude.

This, added to the fact she is 11, means that money is a very abstract concept for her. As soon as she has it, it needs to be spent. This is not much different from any other kids if we are honest, but it is particularly bad for her as she just doesn’t get the value of money at all. Numbers are pretty meaningless to her! Read More ...

Guest Post: Storytelling and gamification in education

Once upon a time 719174 1280 Guest Post Storytelling and gamification in education

Today I am excited to be able to publish a guest post from a good friend of mine, Rob Alvarez Bucholska. We speak regularly and he is a great gamification educator. Here he speaks about how he uses storytelling in materials he creates for the IE Business School in Madrid. Enjoy!


A while ago, Andrzej Marczewski wrote “6 Tips for Short Term Gamification“, and there is one that stood out for me because of my experience creating interactive learning materials at IE Business School. As you might guess from the title it is about narrative and storytelling. What I’ve done in the past are learning materials that, purposefully, are short bursts of learning for students. They are designed to be completed in 90 minutes or less. If you consider the typical gamified product, where you are normally looking for medium to long-term engagement, it is easy to see that there might be many strategies that don’t apply here. Read More ...

School Grades Are The Wrong Way Around

WiiU NSMBU scrn02 WP e1347569986894 School Grades Are The Wrong Way Around

I often hear people say that school is just a badly designed game. I have to agree. I also hear a lot that part of the problems is people chasing grades rather than mastery and that grades should be dropped. I have to partially disagree.

I totally agree that school should be about master, not grade chasing, but I don’t agree we should get rid of grades, just redesign them. For me, grades are the wrong way around. The assumption is that we start at an A* and we either maintain that or the grade can fluctuate wildly assignment to assignment. If we were to follow a more game-like approach, we would consider progress and experience points rather than ever changing grades. Read More ...

Gamification Element: Investment

Piggy bank 1493903513 Gamification Element Investment

I have just added a new element to the gamification periodic table, investment.

Whilst I have Loss Aversion and a few other things that may seem similar, I have felt for some time that there was still an ingredient missing. It turns out, it was investment (I think…).

Now, you may instantly think of investment as a financial affair, in fact, the icon I have chosen deliberately induces that though. However, investment comes in several flavours;

  1. Financial: Money, virtual currency, possessions
  2. Emotional: When you get into a good book or film, you are emotionally invested. The same is true of any relationship.
  3. Time: When you spend time doing something, you are investing in it. So time spent getting your stats as high as possible in-game, that’s a significant investment.
  4. Effort: Whether it is mental or physical, expending effort is an investment in an activity.

A great example of all of these being in play is higher education. Students have to spend money on tuition fees (or at least be aware they will be paying them back for some time). They have to invest emotionally, not just in the subject and the process of learning for higher education, but also in the relationships they form whilst in higher education. They have to invest a significant amount of their time, years in fact. Finally, there is a huge amount of mental effort required to succeed. Read More ...