20 Day Stranger and Classcraft

I really enjoy listening to the radio. I know a lot of people hate it, but I enjoy it! I generally toggle between 98.1 CHFI and 99.1 CBC Radio. CHFI is primarily a music station, but they also have games on the air (Big Bag of Cash!) and a Dr. Oz segment in the evening as I’m driving home from work.

CBC always has really interesting conversations on air and they’re always relevant. If I don’t want to listen to music, I switch to CBC Radio.

Today, after I dropped the husband off at the station, I turned on the radio to listen to CBC and they were talking about two very interesting new ideas which I was excited to share with you!

20 Day Stranger

20 Day Stranger is an iPhone app that reveals intimate, shared connections between two anonymous individuals. It’s a mobile experience that exchanges one person’s experience of the world with another’s, while preserving anonymity on both sides.

For 20 days, you and a stranger will experience the world in your own way, together. You’ll never know who it is or exactly where they are, but we hope it will reveal enough about someone to build your imagination of their life… and more broadly, the imagination of strangers everywhere.

I thought this concept was really intriguing, though I wasn’t sure of the purpose. As the creator delved into his thoughts behind this idea and his opinion of the world, it became a little more clear.

According to the creator, the internet has allowed everyone a certain anonymity which hasn’t exactly brought the best out of humanity. People are often cruel in their treatment of each other – look no further than YouTube and you’ll get the general idea. Anonymity offers a certain protection that allows people to say whatever they wish, with no repercussions.

The creator of 2o Day Stranger wants to use anonymity as a way to emphasize compassion and love. For example, he said, if you see that the stranger you’re connected with spends several days in a hospital, you may become concerned for their well-being despite never knowing them.

This app also allows the delivery of a single message to the stranger with which you’re exchanging your every day experiences. You can potentially reveal who you are, where you live or what you do – but you have only one message to share.

Interestingly (at least I thought so), this app is in partnership with The Dalai Llama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT.

And I might just be signing up.

Classcraft

Dramatically Increases Student Motivation by Using Real Risks and Rewards.

Teaches Meaningful Collaboration by Placing Students in Teams and Making Their Success Inter-Depenendant.

Makes Learning Fun and Improves Classroom Behavior by Gamifiying the Classroom Experience.

I wish my school had something like Classcraft!

First, a little information: Classcraft was founded by a high school physics teacher, Shawn Young, who has a background in education, gamification, and web development. Classcraft is basically an online role-playing game that teachers and students can play together in the classroom. It acts as a gamifcation layer around any existing curriculum, transforming the way a class is experienced throughout the school year.

I really like this idea. It promotes teamwork and motivates the students to pay attention in class. Why not use the technology available to us to better the classroom experience? As long as kids are still learning I think adding this element of creativity can only be a good thing.

The game functions much like any other online role-playing game and includes three classes: healer, warrior, and mage.

If you’re a teacher and are interested in this idea, checkout the website and explore the 5 different aspects of the game which include 1) Risk & Reward 2) Character Classes 3) Team & Strategies 4) Random Events and 5) In the Classroom.

I hope you learned something new and interesting today. I sure did!

 

 

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