Tuesday Tips

Today is sort of a mixture of tips that I wanted to pass along based on conversations I have had lately.

Be iconic

As people continue to make their designs more attractive and user-friendly, the topic of icons has come up several times lately. I have been using icons from the Noun Project for a while now but Taylor Croonquist at Nuts& Bolts Speed Training recently released a video that will make you want to use icons everywhere. It shows you a super easy way to convert any font image into an editable, customizable, freakishly flexible and useful icon. Check it out.

Be creative

With the new year rapidly approaching, I know some people will be recommitting themselves to spending more time writing or trying to be more creative (some because they are tired of me nudging them). Well one app that I've got on my tablet to help kick start ideas is The Brainstormer which is available for iOS and Android. Give the wheels a spin and see where the random word combinations take you. "The inner wheel gives you the conflict. The middle wheel gives you the style or setting. The outer wheel gives you the subject." 

Be gameful

I learn as I go. I sometimes accidentally jump ahead and skip steps. That is one of the disadvantages of a little knowledge. We sometimes forget that others don't have the same frame of reference we do. And one of my latest reminders was that to get involved with gamification one has to be willing and not only able, but eager to play games. This may seem like an obvious requirement if you want to get involved with something based on games, but sometimes the cart (people's desire to use a new tool) gets put before the horse (the actual ability to meld game elements and learning). 

So, like other learning programs, here's your prerequisite for yourself or anyone you are working with who wants to gamify anything. Go play some games. I give you permission. It's not a waste of time. It's research. Play with that mindset. Play to see what attracts you, or distracts you, in the games. How does the game progress? How do you learn to play? What do like about the game? What do you dislike? Who do you know that would like this game? Query. Wonder. Reflect. Then come back and we can talk more about incorporating gamification into you lesson plan.

(Banner art based on image from https://unsplash.com/@jdsimcoe)