If you are educating a gifted child, you already know that they require a unique approach. One educational concept that works exceptionally well for gifted children is gamified learning.
What Is Gamified Learning?
Although it has fast become a buzz word in the world of education today, the reality is that the concept of gamified learning has been around for quite some time. For example, The Boy Scouts were among the first to officially employ it when they created the idea of earning badges for various learning tasks in 1908.
Since then, the ways to create a gamified approach to learning have only increased and evolved. For a better understanding, let’s review this definition from Educational Technology Journal.
Gamification of education is a developing approach for increasing learners’ motivation and engagement by incorporating game design elements in educational environments. The growing popularity of gamification is stemming from the belief in its potential to foster motivation, behavioral changes, friendly competition and collaboration. Educational Technology Journal
Essentially, learning becomes more game-based when these elements (or a sub-set of these elements) are included:
- Immediate feedback and gratification
- Social connection
- “Scaffolded learning” with challenges that increase in intensity and required expertise
- Mastery (for example, in the form of levelling up)
- Progress indicators (badges, points, leaderboard, etc.)
- Player control
The Power Of Gamifying Gifted Education
Research shows students who learn with gamified content show an increase in their overall, long-term retention. One study found that gamification increased retention by 12.23% and increased overall performance by 7.03%.
Gamified learning works well for all learners, adults included. However, there are added benefits specific to our kiddos.
The gamification of learning can be critical for gifted children in particular, who often struggle to stay focused, engaged, and challenged in a traditional educational environment. Gamification can be so effective in gifted education because the learner forgets they are “working” and instead feels they are “playing.” It allows the gifted brain to relax into the “flow” of learning, and more effectively use their intellect for problem solving and creativity.
Gamified Learning With Synthesis
Synthesis is modeled after Elon Musk’s own school was created at SpaceX. It is an exceptional accelerated program designed to challenge and captivate gifted learners. Kids work through a series of games to effectively and powerfully teach themselves through critical thinking, community involvement, and experiential learning (i.e. learn by doing).
Synthesis challenges gifted learners in dynamic, real-world simulation games. Students are part of a cohort that meets once a week to play these innovative, complex games and simulations. These sessions are moderated by an adult facilitator, to encourage collaboration and to challenge the learners to think critically.
The ultimate goal in their gamified learning is to create dynamic learners who are well equipped to maximize their potential in today’s ever-changing world. Here’s how.
Mistakes As Learning Opportunities In Games
Synthesis creates an environment where mistakes are seen as a necessity for learning. Mistakes are defined as opportunities to know what doesn’t work, so one can clearly see when something does work.
Gifted children frequently need the reassurance that making mistakes is not only acceptable, but expected. When learning through a game, mistakes are often easier for a learner to make and accept as part of the learning process. This is exponentially true for a learner who struggles with perfectionism.
Welcoming Complexity In Gamification
As I said, Synthesis is an accelerated program. While the gamified learning tasks are intense and complex, they are presented and facilitated in a way that makes the complexity itself feel welcoming. The gamified approach makes complexity more palatable and engaging for gifted learners.
Collaborative And Competitive Environment
Because part of their future success will inevitably depend on our children’s ability to collaborate, each weekly cohort session is designed to foster both a collaborative and healthily competitive environment.
Playing a game together is a perfect way for our gifted children to practice real world, team building and collaboration skills.
Student Centered Learning
Because the learning is centered around a game, it feels student-centric to the learners. The complete opposite of a textbook and classroom approach, the very nature of this type of learning is more kid friendly and learner focused.
Learn More About Gamified Learning For Your Gifted Child With Synthesis
Learning with Synthesis becomes a powerful gamified learning experience for gifted learners. Their commitment to welcoming mistakes and complexity, creating a collaborative environment, and providing a student centric learning atmosphere is a great fit for gifted children.