Topic 5 - Game Based Learning

What If?

What can we learn from the gaming world and transfer to the classroom to help keep kids engaged?  How do gaming and scenario-based learning with role playing help students understand at a higher level and you to achieve Quadrant-D Learning? For the month of January, you will be exploring these questions through readings ,videos, game exploration, discussion and reflection.


Simulations Engage Students in Active Learning

No Technology...good old Rock, Paper, Scissors…Shoot!

Video Games Belong in 21st Century Education Reform

Game On!   Using Computer Games to Teach Writing

The Natural Progression of Concept Development, by Kenneth Wesson.

Want to read more?  This is lengthy, but excellent! Moving Learning Games Forward: Obstacles, Opportunities & Openness, by Eric Klopfer, Scot Osterweil & Katie Salen. A favorite quote from paper:    “An educational game should put players in touch with what is fundamentally engaging about the subject, should help them build a scaffolding of core concepts, and should motivate them to go deeper.”


Considering your experience and discussion with the game scenario in our July workshops, do you see value in providing this kind of learning experience? Are there ways to effectively bring the benefits of gaming into the classroom – even when you can’t assure a computer for every student?

Activity 1: Watch


Watch the Edutopia Video, “Big Thinkers: Katie Salen on Learning with Games.”

Watch Jane MGonigal Speaks on the Skills Students are Learning from Games.”

These two game developers both seem to pick up on the same points about the skills students can develop through gaming. How might you bring that into the classroom?

Watch Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor speak about how some new online games are helping students with deeper understanding and helping to inspire them to be more active  citizens.

View “Playing to Learn?” Prezi:


Resource Library: Scenario-Based Tasks – Here are step-by-step directions for creating a scenario-based task with your curriculum, employing a backwards design strategy.

The Institute of Play


Browse and try some of the educational games contained on these sites:

Virtual Learning: 25 Best Sims and Games for the Classroom

Top 100 Learning Game Resources

Games about science:

Games about history:

Science Games:

Games for Change:

Games that Teach (elementary):

Homemade PowerPoint Games:


Sylvia Martinez’ Educational Game resources:

Sylvia Martinez’ Educational Game resources

(Please note:  Some of these may currently be blocked for students  - let me know and we can get them unblocked)

Activity 3: Discuss


Respond to the following questions posted on the 20 In The 21st Forum – converse with other cadre members, search for additional resources, and share them in the forum.

1. How can gaming/role playing/scenario based learning helpstudents obtain 21st century skills?

2. What are the obstacles to doing this in the classroom and howcan you overcome them?

Activity 3: Reflect

On your blog in this site, write about what you think about game based learning. Share some ideas you plan to implement.