Week 8 Reflection

This week we talked about the language of learning, which is a student centric focus. Matera explain characteristics that are common in successful people. As I mentioned in my post, children are sponges – they reflect our behaivor, lanauage, and actions. If we have a bad attitude, then they will too. Positive attitudes, encouragement, and praise are keys to a successful classroom.


This week, I learned from my peers:

  • Erika used an analogy of a growth mindset when we believe that we don’t have limits and can achieve anything, then we will be successful.
  • Amanda used this week’s topic in her classroom. I think it is a great when I see my peers exercising what we learn.
  • Sam talked about how praise and encouragement are keys to a successful classroom.

Week 8 The Language of Learning

Essential question: How do you or might you use language to change the way that your students think about learning in the classroom?


In Matera’s book, Explore Like a Pirate, he talks about the ten qualities highly successful people have in common: Confidence, Creativity, Enthusiasm, Effort, Focus, Resilience, Curiosity, Dependability, and Empathy. I think he is a “glass is half full” kind of person. The traits that he mentions are strong qualities that affect people in a positive. That type of positivity can grow on a person; they will gravitate toward those characteristics.


We can take these same type of qualities and implement them in Gamification.

  • Confidence – shows when students can take risks in the game that they would not normally take in real life
  • Creativity – is acted out when a student uses critical thinking to solve problems and might have to taken several different angles until they find one to complete a challenge
  • Enthusiasm – is shown when a student fails at a challenge but their growth mindset drives them to continue until they complete a challenge
  • Effort – is the energy required to complete a challenge
  • Focus – is the motivation required to complete a challenge
  • Resilience – is when student’s bounce back from failing a challenge but continues
  • Curiosity – interest needed to complete complex challenges
  • Dependability – is being able to trust your team member
  • Empathy – the understanding that is needed with team work


“Kids start to adopt this language and take it on their own. For me, that’s the mind-blowing thing, when kids start to apply purpose-driven learning in their own responses, without that being required of them. When they start talking, in a student reflection, about how they’ve seen over the course that they’ve developed their own confidence in themselves and in their talents. They see that it’s about applying themselves, it’s about putting focused effort toward a goal. It’s about being dependable and bringing their best to class every day. I think that’s just mind blowing, when students use this language, and it’s become internalized for them” (Matera).

Children are sponges, they adapt to their surroundings. Therefore, it is no surprise that Matera would state that kids adopt to this language. Show a young student a dance, new slang, or a new way to draw a bunny – they will master the task and add their own spin. This is what the author is trying to tell us. My thought is that when students are in a classroom setting that feels comfortable, accepting, and engaging – they will bloom even if the subject is a new complex math topic.

We can roll this concept into the games that we are creating. We should give the students opportunities to use the qualities that Matera discusses and praise students that master the challenges.




Matera, M. Explore like a Pirate. Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc. 2015. Print.




Week 7 Reflection

This week we talked about the importance of game types in games. We used Richard Bartle player type quiz to see which player matched our answers. I think that this concept is important in game design. Players (students) need a variety of avatars to pick from, this type of customization creates a deeper connection with the players. I had fun reading the different class blogs.


This week I learned from:

  • Amanda talked about the parallels in game design and lesson plans.
  • Cherie spoke about how the different game types help the players with teamwork.
  • Sam discussed about how we should always try to point to our strengths.

Week 7

EQ: What is the suggestion of player types on game design?




I’ll let you in on a secret: Game design doesn’t sell games. Art, sound, characters, the experience of playing the game is what makes people fall in love (Frobes).

As long as I can remember, I enjoyed playing games that had options for different players. I liked having different players that had unique weapons or cars. The different player options allow students to find a character that they relate to, this kind of connection from engagement that is what keeps players returning to the game.

I can remember the first time time my kids were introduced to Avatars. It was when we purchased our Nintendo Wii. For whatever reason, they felt we needed Miis for every person we knew! The boys loved created skin tones, noses and shirts they thought fit our personalities. This type of fascination carries into the classroom with gamification. Any lesson plan that you can think of that can be incorporated into a Minecraft lesson, my boys will master in no time.


Richard Bartle co-created MUD (Multi-User Dungeon), the text-based precursor to today’s MMORPGs, while studying at Essex University. He ended up formulating the theory that all MUD players could be broken down into four main types: killers, achievers, explorers, and socializers. I think that this was probably the same game that we took in our class. I thought the game trivia quiz was interesting. I received the Explorer status, which does seem to fit my personality.

Explorers – 80%




An easy way to remember the four categories of MUD players is to consider suits in a conventional pack of cards:

  • Achievers are diamonds (they’re always seeking treasure).
  • Explorers are spades (they dig around for information).
  • Socialisers are hearts (they empathise with other players).
  • Killers are clubs (they hit people with them).


I have been in IT for over 18 years, so getting Explorer (information seeker) makes perfect sense.






Week 6 Reflection

“We are teaching students, not standards or programs.”  What a powerful statement. I love the move away from the old ways of delivering classroom instruction. This week we read from Explore like a Pirate by Michael Matera. Matera has a great way of spinning fun new methods on teaching today’s students. I do support his ideas and views. I find myself taking notes every paragraph so that I can implement his strategies. You are able to see his reflections in his statements.


This week I learned from my peers:

  • Amanda talked about personalize learning for today’s students. Differentiated Instruction is a great way for customizing your current classroom. This framework will require rework for each class.
  • Erika talked about finding what is not working and making necessary changes. This is hard for me. Sometimes, I think that my method is brilliant and it is working. Reflection brings us back down to earth so that we are ensuring that we are reaching our current students.
  • Cherie had a similar view like Amanda’s about personalized learning. She gave a real world example of how she discovered that game day is what worked in her classroom. She built on that discovering to increase classroom engagement.


Week 6

EQ: What research can support or refute Matera’s claims?

We live in a data drive world. We research past trends to predict future outcomes which statistically speaking is most of the time accurate. Industries like Education and Healthcare must be reinvented regularly to ensure that the process is still relevant in the current era. Technology advances also shape how we do things.




Matera’s 10 keys to purpose driven learning:

  1. Enthusiasm
  2. Effort
  3. Confidence
  4. Focus
  5. Resilience
  6. Dependability
  7. Initiative
  8. Creativity
  9. Curiosity
  10. Empathy


When you look at the keys to purpose, you see action words that should be used in today’s class to be relevant. This list is very different than what we would have seen 10 years ago. Resilience and Initiative are today’s concepts. Past views would have probably contradicted this list.

The old way of delivery instruction was very traditional, standardized, and one tone. The today’s way of delivery instruction tends to be more flexible and differentiated. Matera, “It is important to be flexible and fun for students.” We understand that students do not all the learn the same, which is a thought that has evolved in the last couple of decades. Today’s students are critical thinkers, risk takers, and need confirmation on why we teach in the frameworks that we do.

Michael Matera talks about how students today are different than previous generations. I think that this supports my first statement that as Educators, we must reflect to ensure that we are using a process that is relevant today. Rote memorization and sight words are past methods that now see are not beneficial as we thought.

Matera explains how “the human spirit awakens when we are inspired and challenged to confidently go beyond our limits.” After much research, we now know that students that are not engaged or challenged do not do well in class. We need to ensure that we are shaping our lesson plans to be interesting with open end questions and room for modification to ensure that we are still teaching topics in a manner that is relevant. Students will be able to instantly relate when we deliver topics that are things that are in their day to day life. They will also remember the wisdom that we have shared long after classroom time.



Matera, M. (2015). Explore like a Pirate: Engage, Enrich, and Elevate your Learners with Gamification and Game-inspired Course Design. Dave Burgess Consulting.



Week 5 Reflection

This week we talked about the immersion that comes with VR. We mostly talked about the positive that VR brings to the table in education. VR allows an entire classroom to visit a foreign place like a zoo or a museum. The experience is a real learning experience that some might not ever have. There are endless possibility with VR in the classroom.

Cherie was the only that mentioned the concern about the physical impact that can have on students. When I heard this I thought of Fortnite! I just read a web article on a 9-year-old girl that is addicted to this game. This little girl was waking up in the middle of the night to play the game. She even wet herself because she did not want to stop playing the game. The parents have to take some responsibility for this child. Everything needs to happen in moderation.


I learned from my peers this week:

  • Cherie talked about the physical impact VR can have on an individual. I agree that one can get lost in an activity without realizing the amount of time that has passed.
  • Amanda talked about student expectations with immersion in VR. I completely agree that student should have a strong foundation of the environment and the expectations.
  • Sam had a great point about VR, it allows students opportunities that they might not otherwise have in their classroom, or in life. I agree that students being able to take risks and even fail in VR making the learning experience a truly valuable educational tool.