Blogs on Game-Based Learning

Game-Based Learning

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Get tips, techniques, and tools that apply the principles of game design to the learning process -- engaging kids and helping educators assess learning.

Kevin ChristoforaJune 3, 2013

Summer heat, eating hot dogs, and cheering for home runs -- it's baseball season once again. Watching a game and rooting for your favorite team is fun, but there's so much more to baseball. It has the ability to get kids off the couch and moving around outside. It holds even greater potential as a way of modeling healthy lifestyles for youth. Through this popular and beloved game, we can identify lessons for children to take with them both on and off the field, and then implement strategies to teach these lessons.

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Matthew FarberMay 2, 2013

In her TED talk, "Gaming Can Make a Better World," author and researcher Jane McGonigal posits that in game worlds people are "motivated to do something that matters, inspired to collaborate, to cooperate." Video games are interactive and engaging. It's no wonder they are so pervasive with both children and adults!

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Andrew MillerMay 1, 2013

Just what is a game jam? It is a short event, usually only a day or two, where game developers plan, design and create a short game. Similar to a music jam session, game jams don't involve much pre-planning and rely on immediate idea generation and improvisation. Game design companies have these jam sessions regularly, and while many of the games that happen here are digital, some are paper-based. They usually occur in one physical location to allow for immediate, organic collaboration. While there is an element of competition, most of the work is focused on collaboration towards a common goal.

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Homa TavangarApril 15, 2013

In 1978, John Hunter introduced a complex, immersive, interactive, collaborative, geopolitical game to his elementary school students. In 2011, he gained a global following when he delivered a TED talk about his 30-year experience of "Teaching with the World Peace Game." The talk was shared far and wide as millions were moved by his example of hands-on teaching. And millions began thinking about how to bring out the best in every child through an aspiration for something greater than even the most powerful on earth have yet to achieve -- peace.

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Andrew R. ProtoMarch 27, 2013

Children in the 21st century experience media in ways that are vastly different from any previous generation. Social networking, user-created content and video games provide a level of interactivity that was unthinkable a generation ago. As a result, educators are rethinking educational practices that have long been taken for granted. Many have come to the conclusion that the answers they're looking for lie in making video game design a central part of the curriculum.

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Andrew MillerMarch 12, 2013

Financial Literacy Month is April -- just around the corner -- and it's never too early to prepare. Personally, I believe this is a great opportunity to use games in an intentional way to teach students financial literacy skills. Games can be used as a "hook" or anchor activity, as well an instructional activity that is revisited throughout a unit of instruction. A game can help scaffold the learning of important content as well as providing context for application of content. If you really trust the design of the game, it can also be an excellent assessment tool!

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Andrew MillerFebruary 20, 2013

As I work with teachers to implement game-based learning (GBL), they are always looking for any free tools that exist. While some are willing to pay for iPad game apps or using the Kinect, these tools often cost money. Luckily, there are many tools out there that are free and that teachers could use in the classroom as soon as tomorrow. Some of these tools are not only the games themselves, but also lesson plans and ideas for using the game in the classroom. Here are some of my favorite free GBL tools.

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Andrew MillerFebruary 4, 2013

When we talk about "games," that term covers a huge range. From video games to board games, from Kinect to pencil-and-paper games, all of these can contribute to student learning. There are many reasons why games can and do teach, but interestingly, they actually access the multiple learning styles we already know about. This infographic can help you review the different learning styles if you need to. We can align them to games to further justify how we might use games in the classroom.

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Adam TimothyJanuary 2, 2013

I was just ten years old when the circumstances of life led me to lock-picking for the first time.

No, I wasn’t starving, nor had I been abducted by a band of thieves. I was driven by something which, at the time, seemed much more urgent.

You see, my mother had lost her patience in trying to compete for our attention with the Nintendo. So, having determined that self-regulation with these newfangled computer games was impossible, she resorted to placing a lock on the power cable to prevent unauthorized access.

We were devastated.

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Shawn CornallyNovember 30, 2012

Is there anything quite so vilified as our students' love of video games? The slightly lame-sounding trope in the teachers lounge is, "If they'd just study and stop playing those games!"

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