gaming

How will I teach my students what I don't know in the context of my classroom? A more accurate question would be, “How do I teach what I know little about?” I say, “little” because if there’s anything I’ve discovered with gaming and learning, it’s that there is always a new ah-ha just around the corner if I am willing to put myself in that position. I wanted to know why game-based learning...
Seek out the information you need to make sense of it all. If you don’t understand the pedagogy, you can’t make sense of what it could do in your classroom. I began my journey of an ongoing inquiry into why video games engage players and what they learn while playing. I needed to know what was happening. Ask anyone about gaming theory and where to get started, and you will probably hear the...
Open your inquiry to others. If you make your wonderings transparent and accessible, your thinking just may be clarified. Luckily, I am part of a network that nurtures collaboration. National Writing Project (NWP) is a network of educators constantly seeking ways to best facilitate literacy instruction. Many NWP teacher consultants are innovative leaders in using digital media and literacy in...
Step out of your comfort zone. In that same TTT episode, this thought of teaching what we do not know was discussed. The conclusion was we just have to do it. We may not feel 100% confident or comfortable with something like game design, but if you know and believe in the power of games, you know sometimes, you have to take a risk and do it. This is what happens to gamers. They don’t know what’...
Newb it up! Put yourself in your students shoes. I was able to participate in another TTT episode entitled, Gaming Questions from Texas, Minecraft, and the “2011 Horizon Report K12 Edition”. This one was to support the gaming work for our North Star of Texas Writing Project . I was asked to prepare some questions for teachers who have experience in using game-based learning in their classrooms. I...
It’s funny how many times this question has come up in my career. When I first started teaching, I knew nothing about my students, their worlds, their learning styles. I was pretty much the exact opposite of my urban, mostly Hispanic, low socioeconomic, English-learning, at-risk students of North Dallas High School. How would I, someone who attended private school and college, teach students who...
Deep Down Dream Data.png One of many things I am liking about Gamestar Mechanic is that it gives you various pieces of data around the games that you create and publish within its community. The other day, I created my first multi-level game — Deep Drop Dream – and over the last three days, a few players have given it a try. As a Premium member, I have access to...
I want to give a shout-out to the designers of Gamestar Mechanic, which is the web-based application we used for our Game Design Camp. I am not sure what I would have done without the site, to be honest, since so many other game creation applications that I tried came across as clunky, difficult to use and didn’t have the learning mechanisms built in as nicely as Gamestar Mechanic does. I’ll...
While I think that when we say “gaming” these days, our mind moves right to some technology — either a mobile device or a console or a computer — we wanted to start off our Gaming Camp next week away from the computers. So, using an idea from a workshop I attended, we divided the students up into small groups, gave them a bag of “supplies” and let them design their own game. It could be a board...
It was the first day, and we knew they were all itching to get onto the computers but we purposely held off for a few hours. Instead, we had them working on collaborative groups on designing an offline game, with rules and a story concept. We were happy to see how quickly and how easily they worked with each other on this project. There was laughter, compromise, changing of ideas and then...

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