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High school teacher uses NBA 2K21 badges to reward students during ‘tough’ remote learning

There’s no doubting that 2020 has had profound implications on millions of groups and individuals the world over. The world’s educators have been perhaps amongst the hardest hit: whilst their jobs are (mostly) safe — at least across elementary and high school — they’ve had to completely adjust their learning and teaching styles to suit a shift towards remote learning.

There are countless examples across the globe: here in Australia, teachers are understanding yet still frustrated at the conditions of their current teaching environment. It’s hard enough in person to teach a full class and to keep them all engaged, let alone to do that over a Zoom call for weeks and perhaps months on end.

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If there is a single positive to come out of this change, however, it’s that it may actually prompt a bit of creativity and innovation from schools, teachers and students. And the below example is one such way teachers can keep their students engaged on a day to day basis.

Posting on Reddit, NBA 2K21 fan 19sadboi96 came up with a way to incorporate their favourite game into the naturally competitive environment that is the classroom. They’ve taken the game’s Badges, and redesigned them to reward to high performers and good students.

The Badges listed suggest sadboi is a math teacher. They admit that “remote learning has been tough”, and they’ve created a bunch of badges to reward students for their “online” work.

If you’re not an NBA 2K player and have zero understanding of the game’s Badges system, I’ll break it down for you: they are essentially rewards for good play within the game, and acts as boosts/buffs/nerfs to particular attributes and areas of a match. As an example, if I have a good shooting game, I stand to gain progression towards a new Shooting badge, which can range from, say, extending my shooting range on the court, or increasing the chances of making a shot whilst be closely defended by an opponent.

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In this instance, the Badges appear to be solely tied to individual performance, which would certainly be a great way to get the class involved and engaged a bit more.

My favourite is “Space Creator – Create a positive learning environment by participating”. Purposefully vague, but is simple in all its complexity: the more involved you are, the more likely you are to get a badge.

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The most “high school” one ever is perhaps a major pain point for teachers in remote learning scenarios: “Showtime – 100% attendance”.  That alone should grant immediate Hall Of Fame consideration.

Check out the full thread here

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