With any doubt, I can say this is my favorite tool for ESL Classrooms or English teaching approach. Classcraft is a fun and engaging background for any kind of class which emulates the classical elements of RPG games (Role-playing game) in which each students choose a role in the creation of their characters. Each student may select a class between warrior, mage and healer (that are classical classes on RPG games). Each character class or job on the game has different skills and roles. In order to complete dungeons and defeat enemies, it is necessary to work with other players that complement your character. Classcraft brings this logic to make students to work together in order to take advantage of their new powers on the classroom. To use any skill in the classroom, students need to spend AP (Action points) that can be recovered after a while or by leveling up. Each students has an HP bar (Health points) and different skills that change things on the real classroom. As an example, warriors can have the skill of eating during the class. Mages have teleportation so they can change with other classmate’s seat, and so on.
The Classcraft website offers you a great variety of information and academic support for this approach. Teachers, students and parents are encouraged to participate on it since this tool think on the entire educative community to work.
Testimonials such the next ones reflect the benefits of Classcraft:
1) Why is this particular tool or technology relevant to language learning? What approaches to language learning or research underpin the use of this technology?
According to the website in a publication by Stephanie Carmichael: The research proves it: Video games help students better understand what they’re studying in school.
In a recent paper titled “Video Games in Education,” elementary teacher Matthew C. Heins looked at a number of studies where teachers used games in K-12 classes.
“Video games were utilized in every major content area to an extent to help improve student learning,” Heins wrote. “The learning that took place improved student skills and conceptual understanding.”
2) How might you use it to foster language learning? Think about your target audience.
It may encourage students who dislike traditional way of teaching English. By adding an entertaining context and by a gamify experience, students can be motivated to work together.
3) What limitations can you see with the use of this technology for the purposes of language learning?
The limitation is the lack of time to explain every detail of this gamify experience. As it is a game it has different rules that must be followed. Also, there is a need to have always a computer or a technological device in order to give students the XP and and to follow character development.