Teachers have always faced the same problem: “How do I keep my students engaged?”
With the invention of smart phones, and other advances in technology, our attention spans are dwindling thinner, and paying attention in class has become more of a struggle than ever before.
However, one physics teacher took it upon himself to change this deep-rooted dilemma, and created an application that would change the tides of education drastically– by changing the classroom into a real life role playing game.
“Being part of a team is one thing, surviving as a team is another.” – Classcraft.com
How Do You Play?
His invention, Classcraft, places students into one of three classes: Healers, Warriors, or Mages. Each class, like any RPG, has its own benefits and rewards, so students can use his/her “powers” to further themselves or friends.
The students are split into teams of 5-6 by the teacher, or Gamemaster, to make sure each group contains balance. The aspect of surviving as a team will promote a social aspect of the game, as well as working together.
Students who choose to be Healers will create a balance between strength and survival. Healers begin with a maximum of 50 Life Points (HP) and 35 Action Points (AP).
- Ardent Faith – During an exam, a Healer can ask the Gamemaster if his/her answer to a question is correct.
- Heal 1 – A Teammate gains 10 HP. (Can cast on yourself).
- Favor of the Gods – The Healer can listen to his/her iPod during classwork.
- Healing Circle – All team members gain 15 HP.
The Warrior has the ability to absorb damage for others, while neutralizing the attack. Warriors begin with 80 Life Points, limiting a death, but with only 30 Action Points, cannot use abilities as frequently.
- Ambush – The Warrior can hand in an assignment one day late.
- Protect 2 – The Warrior can take up to 20 damage for his/her teammate while only receiving 65% of the damage.
- Hunting – The Warrior can eat in class.
- Frontal – When two Warriors use this power at the same time, everyone on the team can hand in an assignment one day late.
The Mage is at risk of dying more frequently than its comrades, with only 30 Life Points, but can use many more abilities with 50 Action Points.
- Invisibility – The Mage can be late for class. (Maximum of 2 minutes).
- Mana Transfer – All of the team member, except Mages, gain 7 AP.
- Time Warp – The Mage gains 8 more minutes on an exam.
- Fountain of Mana – A team member, who isn’t a Mage, replenishes all of his/her AP.
Real Life Risk and Rewards
Life Points (HP)
Mentioned earlier, each student has a certain amount of HP. Actions such as arriving late to class, incomplete homework, arguing with the Gamemaster (the teacher), etc. will result in an HP penalty.
When players die, he/she must roll the Death Dice and suffer the punishment shown. Some examples are Saturday morning detention, a 5 minute penalty on an exam, copying 5 pages of text, etc.
Leveling Up (XP)
Students will gain experience points after accomplishing certain, positive tasks such as answering questions correctly, helping other students with abilities, working hard in class, etc.
Upon gaining 1,000 XP, players will level up, which can be used to buy additional powers including getting a hint on an exam, handing in late papers, etc. Players will use his/her AP to use these powers.
Random World Events
Veterans of any Role Playing Game will already be familiar with the concept of World Events, which usually include players to band together to defeat a boss, complete a series of quests, or another random adventure for the player’s benefit.
In Classcraft, these events occur once at the beginning of each class, and can be beneficial, funny, or even harmful. Everyone is forced to submit to these events, and creates an intriguing element to being in class on time.
Some of these events include:
- The Chant of the Master – The player with the least XP chooses a song that the Gamemaster must sing.
- Wound – The player with the most HP loses 20 HP.
- Energy Boost – Everyone slept well and feels energized and gains 20 AP.
- Shame on the Mages – The Mages are ashamed of their mistakes and must stay seated until the bell.
How the Program Works
The teacher becomes the Gamemaster and can use Classcraft online, which can be projected to any screen at the front of any classroom.
During class, students can call out any action he/she would like to perform, while the teacher implements them on the application. According to the website, game management only occupies roughly 5 minutes, while student focus and participation, easier class management, and other benefits far outweigh the detriments.
The website flaunts the ability to be used in any classroom, regardless of subject matter. The platform is entirely web-based which makes game management easier than ever. This way, each student can check his/her progress in the game, as well as other player’s statuses.
Classcraft Sounds Awesome! Sign Me Up!
Teachers can sign up for Classcraft completely free here, with other purchasing options available.
Students can have the ability to customize his/her avatar and unlock pets with the Freemium option, through iTunes purchases. For $2 per student, teachers can unlock extra incentives for student’s good behavior.
Students who are interested can encourage his/her teachers to implement this program by bringing it to their attention.
Really, who wouldn’t want to be a Mage in real life?