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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Game-Based Learning: Resource Roundup

Check out Edutopia's collection of articles, videos, and resources on using video games, simulations, and gaming concepts in the classroom.
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Games in the Classroom

  • Interactive Fiction in the Classroom, by Matthew Farber (2015)

    As a classroom tool, interactive fiction sharpens close reading and writing, and logical and critical thinking. It also reinforces systems- and design-thinking skills.

  • Simulations Can Change the Course of History . . . Classes, by Matt Levinson (2014)

    Levinson shares a professional-development tactic from master history teacher Eric Rothschild, describing how, by engaging his AP European history class in role play, he brought the subject to life for the students. For more on the use of simulations to teach the social sciences, you may also want to read Aaron Kaio’s "Civic Mirror: Simulated National Building for Middle Schoolers."

  • Games in the Mathematics Classrooms: There’s an App for That! by Patrick Feeney (2014)

    Feeney, an educational app developer, looks at what makes a good math gaming app and lists some of his favorite puzzles that engage students while teaching them effectively.

  • March Madness Meets AP Lit, by Brian Sztabnik (2014)

    Sztabnik uses the NCAA bracketing model to whip his AP Lit class into a literature-embracing frenzy as they rank their votes to determine the best poem or novel they've read all year.

  • Video Games in the STEM Classroom, by Shawn Cornally (2012)

    Cornally describes how he came to accept his students' passion for video games and channel some popular games into his STEM curriculum.

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Tips and Tools to Get Started

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Using Games for Learning and Assessment

  • Understanding Learner Outcomes Through Educational Games, by Kristen DiCerbo (2015)

    A good educational game offers engagement, assessment, and learning, with the game data providing a valuable invisible assessment opportunity for students, teachers, and parents.

  • 3 Ways Coding and Gaming Can Enhance Learning, by Douglas Kiang (2014)

    Kiang, computer science teacher and edtech advocate, shows how the Inform7 language, the Minecraft game and the Maker-friendly Arduino kit can enhance learning in high school, middle school and elementary school classrooms.

  • What Can Educators Learn From the Gaming Industry? by Kelly Teng (2014)

    Teng and Cameron Baker, game developers with an interest in education, suggest that the gaming world can teach educators lessons about abstract thinking, enthusiastic engagement, and creative play in pursuit of knowledge.

  • James Paul Gee on Learning With Video Games, by Edutopia Staff (2012)

    Gaming expert Gee shares insights into why video games are such effective learning tools.

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Engaging Students With Innovative Programs

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Games for Social Good

  • Design Challenge: DIY Assistive Game Controllers, by Matthew Farber (2015)

    Students, working as designers, can work together to determine how to outfit standard video games with assistive-technology tools that students of any ability can enjoy.

  • Why Serious Games Are Not Chocolate-Covered Broccoli, by Matthew Farber (2014)

    Farber talks about what Serious Gaming is (and isn't), who develops and promotes these amusing activities based on real-world concerns, and why we want our students to play them.

  • Kurt Squire on Civic Engagement Through Digital Games, by Edutopia Staff (2013)

    Squire, a game-based learning scholar, explores how leveraging young people's interest in gaming could encourage greater youth community involvement in civic and political life.

  • Gaming for Social Good, by Matthew Farber (2013)

    Farber explores some of the ways that playing games together -- with a positive purpose -- can effect change for the better.

  • How Fourth Graders Are Achieving World Peace, by Homa Tavangar (2013)

    Tavangar reflects on fourth grade teacher John Hunter's new book about his 30 years of teaching the World Peace Game.

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Straightforward Gamification Strategies

  • 4 Best Practices in Implementing GBL, by Sam Patterson (2015)

    For successful gamification, build the excitement, use the data you collect, make the game fun for all students, and never underestimate the value of play.

  • Gaming the College Admissions Process, by Matthew Farber (2014)

    College prep and admissions are serious business, but gamifying the process may just help middle and high school students understand the challenges and find solutions.

  • Beyond the Worksheet: Playsheets, GBL, and Gamification, by Alice Keeler (2014)

    Keeler introduces playsheets, gamified worksheet apps that sweeten skill-and-drill by increasing student self-efficacy through the challenge-and-reward model they associate with a gaming environment.

  • Gamification in Education, by Vicki Davis (2014)

    Davis and her high school students are exploring what makes games effective for classroom use. As of this blog, they've come up with six essential elements, but their task is far from complete.

  • Gamifying Student Engagement, by Matthew Farber (2013)

    Find out about the basics of gamification and how they can be used to engage students in a game-centric world. For more from Farber on gamification, be sure to see two other posts, "Beyond Badges: Why Gamify?" and "Badges and the Common Core."

  • Gamestar Mechanic: Gamification Made Easy, by Andrew Proto (2013)

    A middle school English teacher and former technology instructor discusses how Gamestar Mechanic can serve as a cool student-engagement tool.

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Comments (8)Sign in or register to postSubscribe to comments via RSS

Doug Bergman's picture
Doug Bergman
Head of Computer Science at Porter-Gaud School in Charleston, SC

If you have not read Reality is Broken...READ IT(I am lucky to be able to hear the author speak later this month). It makes some great points that may not be obvious to the outside world. We have this perception that if it is fun, it cannot possible be useful or educational. But I beg to differ....not only CAN learning be fun, it should be fun. But, it is important to define fun in this context. I suggest that fun is something that is engaging that we look forward to doing. Humans are tuned to learn their whole life, so it is completely appropriate for learning and fun to intersect. Jane's point is that there are some common elements that have been identified as to why we enjoy playing games...why not bring those into education. My point is to take that one step further...why not let that be the foundation of education. No, not playing games as the foundation, but taking the main elements of games and bringing those into the classroom everyday.

Selah L Bishop's picture

Hello Doug,

Do you have a link to Reality is Broken? I am interested in the subject of Video Games and Learning for Students with Learning Disabilities.



Keleigh Lee's picture
Keleigh Lee
Online education game developer

I'm part of a small non-profit in Michigan that has just finished 4 years of development & research supported by NIH on an online education game. We're not part of a big company and have no sales force, but we do have a great game that the teachers & students are loving. Would you consider adding it to your list? It's for 6-9th grade and fits well into science classes (covers hypothesis formation and supporting/refuting), forensic science classes, and health classes. It's affordable & proven through nationwide research with more than 2,000 students.

Narukami's picture
Substitute Teacher - History/Social Studies, Japanese Theatre

Here is another site that might proved useful to History / Social Studies teachers looking to incorporate games into their classroom:

Mark Collard's picture
Mark Collard
Experiential Trainer, author & keynote speaker. Founder & director of playmeo

Unabashed self-promotion here, but teachers can access tons of free group-based games and activities at - almost all of the exercises come with video tutorials and lesson plans, to make it real easy to integrate into your curriculum... :-)

Emly Colen's picture

my buddy's step-sister makes $74 hourly on the internet . She has been laid off for 9 months but last month her income was $19223 just working on the internet for a few hours. Look At This ;


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