Alternatives to Homework: Try Gamification
I spent 7 years as a public school teacher, and I enjoyed every minute of it. Being a teacher allowed me to be the creative professional that I had always wanted to be. One of the areas of creativity that I pioneered in my school district was homework alternatives. I was way ahead of my time when it came to the concept of homework because I didn’t believe in the traditional approach to it. Over the last two decades, there has been a lot of debate over the efficacy of homework, but to me, it’s a no-brainer.
Why? Because I quickly observed that my students were not learning anything by having the same assignment, as a few students would complete the assignment and the rest would copy their answers. This, of course, would be done via the internet, text or phone; on the school bus, or right before class started. This led to a loss of learning and completely sabotaged the teaching and learning process.
What did I learn from this? The traditional way of assigning homework is obsolete. If it’s obsolete, what should we place in its stead? I am glad you asked. In my class, I would use a game of bingo, as a way to assign homework alternatives. I can’t seem to find an example of the one that I used, but I found something better. I found a modern version of the “Weekly Homework Bingo” board that was obviously created by a teacher who incoroporates edtech into their classroom.