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Games & Learning: First Person Shooters vs. First Person Learning

[Listen and learn : Panel]

Wednesday, June 29, 11:45 am–12:45 pm
CCC 607

favoritesLouise Dube  favoritesDr. Matthew Farber. Ed.D.  favoritesDr. Benjamin Stokes  favoritesGreg Toppo  
USA Today’s Greg Toppo, author of The Game Believes in You, will discuss the application of learning games with some of the world’s foremost experts, including ASU’s James Gee, iCivics Executive Director Louise Dube’ and Institute of Play’s Rebecca Rufo-Tepper. Find out how games can change students' learning perspectives and points of view.

Skill level: Intermediate
Attendee devices: Devices not needed
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Games and simulations
Grade level: 6-12
Subject area: Social studies
ISTE Standards: Administrators : Digital age learning culture
Students : Creativity and innovation
Coaches : Digital age learning environments
Additional detail: ISTE Professional Learning Network pick

Digital tote resources
Description: Presentation URL

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Education and infrastructure Challenge: By immersing them in content and concepts as active participants, games are changing children’s perspective of themselves as learners. They require students to see failure as learning and to leverage game rules vs. their own goals. They force them engage in model-based thinking, value collaboration, theory crafting, and collective intelligence -- and favor exploration, lateral thinking, and testing limits over routinized thinking, making effort and not luck as the basis of success. This panel will look through the lenses of four of the world’s experts on games and learning what’s working, what’s next approaches for reaching learners through games.

They include:

USA Today’s Greg Toppo, author of The Game Believes in You
James Gee, the world’s foremost expert on Games and Learning
Louise Dube’, executive director of iCivics, the MACEI Award winning nonprofit games company founded by Sandra Day O’Connor to teach civics
Rebecca Rufo-Tepper, the head of professional development for the Institute of Play

Look at how games change how learners see themselves and change forms of interaction, collaboration, capacities and sense of self in classrooms?

Show how students as “gamers” can proactively contribute to teaching, learning, curriculum and classroom building -- and get teachers to think as designers

Explore the massive social interest driven systems of teaching, learning, modding and interaction built around games outside of school help reform classrooms.

Technology intervention:
Games are possible in the classroom through PCs Tablets, mobile devices and laptops. In part, this session will discuss the tools needed.
Models Employed: Most ISTE participants know of the flipped classroom. Games learning goes well beyond changing the order in which we teach. It turns the classroom into a collaborative lab in which students and teachers need to work together to solve problems that aren’t on static pages in books, but that are alive and changing as students explore and learn from the inside out.
Lesson plans or instructional activities: This panel will explore exactly how lesson plans can be built around games. What works? What doesn’t? What are good games? What are bad games?

Evidence of success:

Specifically regarding iCivics, which teaches civic education through video games:

•The average 8th grader spends 5-6 hours per week on homework. Conversely the average 8th grade girl spends 12 hours playing games, while the average boy spends 24 hours.

•iCivics games have proven engaging. Its website averages almost 2.5 million visitors per month during months when school is in session with a total of nearly 30 million meaningful gameplays of more than 5 minutes.The average time on gaming is 6 min 19 seconds.

•iCivics has published 21 digital educational resources including video games and more than 150 lesson plans, offering the most comprehensive, free standards-aligned civics curriculum available on the internet.

•iCivics currently reaches students in zip codes within nearly 85% of the U.S. population—from New York City to the remote islands of Alaska—serving all socioeconomic backgrounds. 45% of our registered educators work in disadvantaged schools.

•In 2011 Baylor University study showed students has a 19% in test scores after playing the game for at least one hour per week for six weeks. Younger students nearly doubled their scores.

•Separate independent studies by SRI International in 2013 and Tufts University in 2012 both showed that iCivics’ Drafting Board helped drastically improve students’ ability to form arguments.

•A 2010 Arizona State University study showed that students playing iCivics’ Branches of Power game had a 20% improvement in student knowledge between pretest and posttest results.


Introduction by USA Today’s Greg Toppo, author of The Game Belongs in You, about why games are such a fascination and what he’s found in his own resarch (5 min).

Introduction by James Gee about his seminal research, Louise Dube’ about the award winning work of iCivics and Rebecca Ruffo Tepper about their work. (10 min)

Conversation about what each have seen in the classroom and research and design labs and how games are truly changing learning. (35 min)
Q&A (10 min)

Time — 60 minutes

Supporting research

James Gee
Language and Learning in the Digital Age (2011), Good Video Games and Good Learning: Collected Essays (2007)

Constance Steinkhuler and Kurt Squire
Steinkuehler, C. & Squire, K. (in press). Videogames and Learning. To appear in Keith Sawyer (Ed.), Cambridge Handbook of the Learning Sciences, Second Edition. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Steinkuehler, C. (2012).
The mismeasure of boys: Reading and online videogames. In W. Kaminski & M. Lorber (Eds.), Proceedings of Game-based Learning: Clash of Realities Conference (pp. 33-50). Munich: Kopaed Publishers.

Greg Toppo (2015)
The Game Believes in You: How Digital Play Can Make Our Kids Smarter



favorites Louise Dube, iCivics

Louise Dubé serves as the Executive Director of iCivics. Louise discovered the power of education in the early 1990’s as a co-founder of CASES, a New York alternative-to-incarceration program where education helped re-shape lives. Inspired by a deep commitment to learning, she has devoted her career to ensuring that all students are prepared for active and thoughtful citizenship and life.

favorites Dr. Matthew Farber. Ed.D., University of Northern Colorado

favorites Dr. Benjamin Stokes, American University

Benjamin Stokes is a civic media scholar and game designer. He is an Assistant Professor at American University and teaches in the AU Game Lab. Previously, he co-founded Games for Change, the movement hub for advancing social change with games. At the MacArthur Foundation, Benjamin was a program officer in their portfolio on Digital Media and Learning. Benjamin has also worked at the UC Berkeley School of Information as a postdoctoral scholar in data science.

favorites Greg Toppo, USA Today