How to Keep Kids Engaged in School—With Games

I teach Journalism tutoring through Zoom to high school students at NYU.

When I first set up my course, I planned to offer short lectures and discussions on various editorial elements (structure of an article, using reliable sources, interview techniques), such as how I teach my face-to-face and distance lessons for adults. At NYU School of Professional Studies. But I know how difficult it is to get the attention of children since I have a daughter for a while. I had to speed up my game to keep Gen Z busy and challenged. My research has shown that interaction, competition, and game rewards are the best way to assist teens in problem solving. I’ve added gamification to my teaching tools arsenal. “Application of typical game elements (e.g. scoring, competition with others, game rules) to other areas of activity, typically as an online marketing technique encouraging interaction with a product or service. ”

Sameer Hinduja, co-director of the Cyber ​​Bullying Research Center, explains why gamification works. “PowerPoints, lectures, and even traditional Zoom breakout rooms are dry ways to share information and encourage participation. Teens are neurologically connected in such a way that they are open to learning if we can present them through interactive channels with which they are most familiar, such as games. When behavior that uses critical thinking is rewarded, it increases students’ learning. ”

“Research shows that gamification increases their motivation and enables them to be part of a team,” says Monica B. Glina, faculty development manager at NYU. “This is important for high school students interested in exploring peer relationships developmentally.”

Catherine Pearlman, a Southern California-based therapist, says the mental-physical connection of play helps students learn. “Teens are used to using multiple devices at the same time. Gamification appeals to their need to keep their minds and hands active. So when you make a mistake in a game, you may lose a point, but keep playing so you learn from your mistakes and it’s okay to do them.”

Carley Doktorski, a new student who is planning to do a journalism department at New York University College of Arts and Sciences, recently took my class.

“I was so nervous that I didn’t sleep the night before the lesson started. But it was a great experience. It was immediately more interactive than a five-day lecture, and going through this process helps us learn about the real publishing industry. ”

Here are a few of the teaching tools and tactics I use and why they work.

Pre-Class Voting

For my lessons, I start by offering teens a challenge: I assign them a reading task to read before class, then test them using the survey feature on Zoom or to assess what they know and what they need. over. After that, we discuss the ingredients and answer their questions.

“Surveying is a great way to check where students are when they agree, diagnose what they know before teaching them, present a new topic, or start a discussion,” Glina says. Says.

Tests Bring Management Leadership

As I progressed in gamification in my courses, I started creating quizzes on the materials I taught using sites such as Kahoot, eQuizShow and Muzzylane. Students like it because they can compete with their classmates and rank higher on the leaderboard.

“You can use these sites to create a game that students use to advance their answers to lesson-related problems with scenarios (for example, about how to create each piece of a work), Glina says. The key is to set it to be the key to the next scenario if you get the correct answer. ”

Scavenger Hunts for Resources

I create scavenger hunts for my classes, where I place young people in teams through Zoom break rooms and give them a time slot (10 to 15 minutes) to research resources such as research or experts, write articles and op-eds on their assignments.

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