All aboard the Oxnard Union Express, a train-themed teacher game created for Oxnard Union High School District. Located in the Oxnard Plain in California, Oxnard Union High School District serves almost 20,000 students at ten schools, which include six high schools and four continuation high schools. The district teamed up with Alludo in the summer before the start of a new school year to create a game that could amplify their teacher training and keep their staff on the track to success.

Oxnard Union High School District offers comprehensive career and college readiness programs, and uses the "academy model" at two of their schools. This model focuses on Career Technical Education, PBL, and Work-Based Learning. These unique offerings mean that Oxnard’s teachers have to be uniquely prepared to utilize district technology in such a way that students can excel in career-focused training, all while using edtech to enhance standard high school objectives. Oxnard Union Express was designed to do just that. Game missions include Productivity, Coaching/PLC, Tools, Pedagogy, PLN, and Digital Citizenship. Locomotive, High Speed Train, and Electric Train levels keep learners chugging down the PD track, all to the cheers of Oxnard Coordinator of Education Technology, Jay Sorensen, who keeps the friendly competition going with updates on school and performer leaderboards.

Key Challenges

  • Optimize technology training for Oxnard’s career-driven “academy model”

  • Coordinate teacher training across the district and promote self-paced progress

  • Facilitate a more productive and more effective PD methodology

Solution

Oxnard Union Express left the station to great fanfare from the district’s teachers. The gamified program allows teachers to expand their PD training for the betterment of both staff and students, as well as earn points to encourage competition and progress. Even the district’s tech teachers have lauded the game’s ability to teach them something new, and staff wide, teachers have enjoyed the opportunity for greater collaboration toward their shared goals.

Results

  • More than 170 teachers started playing Oxnard Union Express in the first month of its launch

  • Increase collaboration and community among district teaching staff

  • Customized gameplay designed to enhance all district objectives, including those at academy model schools

Looking Forward

Oxnard Union High School continues to utilize the Oxnard Union Express platform to great success. While there are no immediate plans to add to the existing modules, the district has seen marked PD improvements and has even maintained a Twitter page dedicated to tracking progress and celebrating big wins.

“Participating in OU Express has made me a better teacher. It puts professional development right in my hands, without having to give up hours after school or on the weekend, or having to spend time trying to figure out where to get the funding to attend.” — Allison Holicky, Pacifica High School

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