Book review: Press start to begin by Scott Hebert

8th grade teacher Scott Hebert in Canada, looked for solutions on how to apply gamification into his classroom and how to have his students more engaged in the classroom. Like most people he came across two great frameworks Octalysis by Yukai Chou and the player types by Andrzej Marczewski. In the book he gives an overview of both frameworks and the reasons why as a teacher today it is important to challenge your thinking with these models.

The title Press start to Begin gives the reader the clue there may be more involved than just reading a book. What I love about the book is that it is gamified in its style of writing with a story narrative of Master Heebs. Better again is the explanation of how Scott Hebert has applied the models into his classroom. It gives a detailed account of how traditional school terms equate to gaming terms. He describes how he allows the learner to choose their learning quests and over time they generate enough experience points in a specific competency in their subject, very closely matching the curriculum requirements of most teachers. He shares his tools and how to use them, allowing the reader to implement the same methods in their classroom.

As a how to guide for teachers, this is a great resource. If you are attracted to gamification and want to find out ways on how to implement it for your classroom, then I highly recommend it.

I often look for inspiration in the world of edTech because a lot of teachers realise first how the younger generations are motivated and again this book explains how to engage them. Corporate trainers read it, for your own improvement and design, it will require adaptation for your purpose, but you have all the basics in the book to make it happen. If you need more assistance, just ask me 😉

Book can be bought on Scott’s website at under the “Gamification” tab and then “Store” or on Amazon.

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