In my previous post (My 6 Avatar Types) I began outlining the 6 Avatar Types for my History Underground classroom. This is the fourth of my six avatar types (My Avatar Types – The Executive, Avatar Types – The Artisan, Avatars pt 1 – The Curator). My class revolves around a central narrative in which the students become “Collectors” for an underground group of Historians in a dystopian future. The Collector’s job is to access, watch, and summarize “hidden archives” of recorded lectures. The archives are hidden by an evil totalitarian government called APOC or The Armed Protectors of the Constitution. This group has withered and starved historic teaching until it is all but dead so that the people are left without the skills to determine the corrupted history used by APOC to manipulate them. This is the narrative framework that creates an organic explanation for my “flipped” class; all students are required to complete the “collection missions” in order to gain the basic content knowledge required by the state standards.
The Tech Wizard of the History Underground narrative is “Red” (voiced by my awesome colleague @mckoy_hcs). Red is always in need of help handling the constant stream of technical demands. Students that select this type become Red’s Protege and work on developing their technical skills and assisting others in their growth.
Player Type Connection
I see the Protege falling into Marczewski’s Player Type Hexad “Achiever” type, though there is some hint of a “White-Hat Disruptor” and “Philanthropist”. Achievers are motivated by Mastery and in this context there is an effort to master some Technical achievements (coding, app-smashing, graphic design) that will draw those computer oriented students. Disruptors are an interesting piece as well. These are the players/students that are always testing the system to find the holes and mistakes. If cultivated they can become great allies and make the game stronger. If the game designer tries to squash them, however, they can become powerful enemies that undermine the game. This type attempts to give these tech oriented and potentially disruptor types a chance to improve the game through the power bonus and a leadership role. Lastly, there is a tinge of philanthropist though a reward comes with the assistance projects. This means that there is a potential over-justification effect which I will be monitoring and may need to adjust.
- “App-Smasher” – 100XP Bonus for making and publishing tutorials for relevant apps, websites, and other tech tools.
- “Helping Hand” – with 100% completion of unit collection missions, Mr. Powley will define up to two terms per common assessment.
One challenge that occurs with the avatar types is keeping track of which students have which powers and skills. My solution to this is based on my “Tie Based Ranking System” (similar to a karate belt system). Each of the types has a different tie pattern. The Protege’s get a Red Checkerboard sticker. While this pattern is not as prevalent as others it highlights their mentor, Red, as well subtly acknowledging the 1s and 0s (Red or White) that make up the basic binary language of software. Each student will get a Red Checkerboard sticker to put either on their laptops (we are a 1:1 school) or their AVID Binders. They will also get power bonus and special skill stickers. I also have a a Google Sheets grade book that keep track of all of these items for quick reference.