We did it! We gamified a PD session.
It took many hours, constant iterations, and huge amounts of collaboration. But we did it, and it was worth it.
In my new role at the American Community School of Abu Dhabi, I work on the Learning Innovation and Technology team as a K-12 Learning Innovation and Technology Coach. This year we are in charge of a few professional development sessions with staff as part of our new professional growth model. Our school is about to transition onto a new campus after calling our current one home for just over 50 years. A lot is on everyone's minds at the moment and we wanted to make our session with teachers fun and meaningful.
While some teachers have had the opportunity to visit the new campus as the finishing touches are added, most have not physically been on site while it has looked and felt like a school. The Director of Learning, Innovation, and Technology (Christina Devitt), the other K-12 Learning, Innovation, and Technology Coach (Jenny Derby) and I wanted to help everyone imagine our new spaces while keeping with the theme from the beginning of the year. The idea of School Hunters: The Game was inspired partially by the work of Jane McGonigal. A designer of "games that are designed to improve real lives and solve real problems." Her book Imaginable was part of how this game came together.
We started brainstorming... and if you've ever worked with me you know that means POST-ITS!
We wanted the teachers to experience something, rather than just sit in a room and listen to us talk while they felt like they could be doing something more practical. We decided to make a 360 degree VR tour of the new campus on ThingLink with the help of our Elementary School Artful Innovator, Jane Ross, and use it as a virtual game board - to be mixed with physical elements for game play, social interaction, and imagining.
In this virtual world, we added keys. Any time a teacher found a key they would complete a scenario card. The cards were based on personas we had previously talked about in other staff meetings. Each scenario card was like a mini game itself - loosely based on charades, Pictionary, using AI, or just listing questions or ideas.
Each time they completed a scenario card, they earned a token from the game master. All 12 tokens made a riddle at the end they needed to solve, which was an idea from Jane McGonigal: Imagination leads to resilience, and challenges can be opportunities.
The feedback we have been receiving this week has been rewarding. It was no easy feat to put this all together in a relatively short period of time. We have heard reports like:
Passionate Educator and Innovation Coach.