It has become conventional thought that gamification—the application of game-style challenges and rewards to traditional tasks—is changing the way kids learn. If there’s something being taught, it’s almost certain there’s now a gamified way to learn it.Making teaching methods more entertaining is clearly beneficial for kids; earning badges and unlocking avatars makes online games exciting and engaging, and the same methods can be applied to learning tasks. But as great as it has been in many cases, gamified learning isn’t a long-term solution for children and literacy. Moreover, it’s dragging us away from what the fundamental reward should actually be: reading itself. Parents, teachers, and technophiles must therefore encourage children to develop a love of literature by unlocking a universe of diverse book options where they can find things they want to read. Technology can make a real difference in how any why kids read—but it should do so by expanding the reach and convenience of options, not by adding bells and whistles.
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