Made With Play: Game-Based Learning Resources
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Intrigued by game-based learning, but not sure where to begin? Edutopia's new series takes a look at game-like learning principles in action and commercial games in real classrooms -- and offers tips and tools for bringing them into your own practice. The Made With Play series is a co-production with Institute of Play; visit their website for many more resources around game-based learning for both educators and parents, including a comprehensive games and learning reading list (PDF).
Implementing Game-Like Learning Principles
Q Design Packs from Institute of Play, based on the tools and methods used by teachers, administrators, curriculum designers and game designers at Quest to Learn and CICS Chicago Quest, provide detailed infographics, worksheets, and rich media resources to support school design, curriculum design, and professional development. There are four Q Design Packs currently available for download:
- Q Curriculum Design Pack: A curriculum planning resource
- Q School Design Pack: A school design resource
- Q Games and Learning Design Pack: A game design resource
- Q Systems Thinking Design Pack: A systems thinking integration resource
Videos of Game-Based Learning in Action
- Reframing Failure as Iteration Allows Students to Thrive (2013)
At New York City's game-based learning school Quest to Learn, sixth graders take risks in the process of designing a Rube Goldberg machine, which enables more creativity, innovation, and engagement. Read the accompanying blog.
- Constant Challenges Push Students to Strive for Success (2014)
Sixth graders learn math concepts in tandem with lessons about perseverance and stretching to achieve goals through a board game called Caterpillar. Read the accompanying blog and download the Caterpillar game board (PDF) and game-play instructions (PDF) to use in your own classroom.
Using Commercial Games in the Classroom
- Using Minecraft as an Educational Tool (2013)
Middle school students create their own 3D virtual worlds and learn lessons about communication, collaboration, and digital citizenship through the first-person sandbox-style game called Minecraft. Get tips for implementing Minecraft in the classroom.
Minecraft Resources on the Web
- Minecraft: Official website for the game
- Mojang: Persson's (developer of Minecraft) independent game studio
- The Minecraft Teacher: Joel Levin's blog about Minecraft and teaching
- MinecraftEdu: Educators and programmers working to make Minecraft accessible for schools
- MinecraftEdu Wiki: Tutorials, lessons, and resources
- Minecraft Teachers Google Group: Community to brainstorm, troubleshoot, and find inspiration
- Real-World Examples: Examples of Minecraft use in the classroom
- YouTube Videos Featuring MinecraftEdu : Tutorials, interviews, in-class footage, and more
- Minecraft Google Group: An active community of educators using Minecraft
- Pixel Pushers: A project to create a MinecraftEdu toolset for teachers
- Thesis on Collaborative Problem-Solving in Minecraft (PDF): a Masters degree project by Björn Berg Marklund
Middle school students learn social studies through Historia, a paper-based simulation game that incorporates a world cultures curriculum aligned to state standards.
Historia Resources on the Web
- Histrionix Learning Company: Website for the creators of Historia
- Historia Guidebook (PDF): Guidebook used by students to research history prior to game play
- Historia Civilization Builder (PDF): Worksheets students use to build their own civilizations
- Historia Interactive Presentation (PPTX): Presentation given by teacher to guide game play
- "Designing a Classroom Game That Can Get Kids Excited About History," by Brian Waniewski: How social studies teachers Rick Brennan and Jason Darnell developed Historia to make history come alive for their middle-school students (from The Atlantic)
Other Edutopia Resources on Game-Based Learning
- Game-Based Learning Blogs
See all blogs about game-based learning on Edutopia.
- Edutopia's Games for Learning Community Group
Join the discussion in Edutopia's community group on game-based learning and gamification of learning.
- 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.