With the huge popularity of MMORPGs (Massive multi-player online role playing games) like World of Warcarft and Minecraft, tapping into that sphere of competition, character generation, points scoring and strategy has proved a successful engagement strategy for the classroom.
Classcraft allows you to split up your class into clans of avatars, who gain gain or lose game points depending on their behaviour and effort in the classroom. As a teacher you can award points to students, who can then exchange those points for powers or rewards. These powers can be customised to suit your classroom; a popular one has been the power of transportation, where for one lesson you can swap places in class with another student.
I have had to set strict ground rules with the use of classcraft to ensure students are not on their devices when they are supposed to be completing work. By using my iPad as I wonder around the classroom, I have been able to award or take away points which students can check at the end of the lesson.
My Year 9 boys have loved this so far but I still need to be convinced that this has longevity, as I am concerned that they may become bored of it. Time will tell.