Become a Game-Based Learning Guru

Location: Room Grand Hyatt Bonham C

Explore and create Preregistration and additional fee required.

Registration code: WH205

Fee: $113 (After May 1, $123)
[Explore and create : Workshop]

Monday, June 26, 8:30–11:30 am
Location: Room Grand Hyatt Bonham C

Chris Magnuson   Jessica Mlyniec  
Game-based learning involves more than just playing a game. It's an essential component of a problem-based curriculum. Join us for a hands-on exploration of educational games. You'll discover tools to analyze games for the best learning impact and begin designing your own digital game!

Fee: $113 (After May 1, $123)
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices required
Attendee device specification: Laptop: PC, Chromebook, Mac
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Please bring a smartphone and a laptop to this session.
Please have the following apps downloaded on your smartphone prior to workshop:
- Spaceteam
- Kahoot
- An updated Chrome browser on your device and laptop

Finally, please create an account on the Dig-It! Games portal ( ).

Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Games and simulations
Grade level: 6-12
ISTE Standards: Teachers : Design and develop digital age learning experiences and assessments
Teachers : Facilitate and inspire student learning and creativity
Teachers : Engage in professional growth and leadership

Digital tote resources
Description: Access all handouts and presentation files will be uploaded here.
Add to digital tote | Go to my digital tote

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Games are essential to learning and this workshop will equip you with the research, case-studies, evaluation rubrics, and games that you can use in your classroom next year! We will play, evaluate, and make games! Learn the compelling research supporting the effectiveness of Game-Based Learning and apply that immediately to evaluating games for quality and usability. Walk-through the process of game creation. You will pick a learning objective, outline a story map for your game concept, and test it in a beta version of a virtual reality environment. Presented by Dig-It! Games, an award winning video game studio.


1) Begin by playing Spaceteam on personal smartphones. (15 minutes)
2) Participants are grouped in teams to analyze the elements of game play they just experienced and their applicability to an educational setting. (15 minutes)
3) Overview of the importance of games from a cognitive, social-emotional and content standpoint. Participants will use Kahoot to interact with the research highlighted from Jane McGonigal, Greg Toppo, and Steven Johnson (15 minutes)
4) Participants will learn and use the Dig-It! Games rubric to evaluate their analysis of effective educational games. (15 minutes)
5) Based on the rubric, participants will investigate Dig-It! Games analog, digital, and virtual examples and assess their educational impact. (60 minutes)
6) Walk-through the process of game creation. Participants will pick a learning objective, outline a story map for a game concept, and test it in a beta version of a Unity virtual reality environment. (40 minutes)
7) Closing remarks and questions (20 minutes)

Supporting research

Reality is Broken by Jane McGonigal
Everything Bad is Good For You by Steven Johnson
The Game Believes in You by Greg Toppo
World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievements by John Hunter



Chris Magnuson, Dig-It! Games

Chris Magnuson has extensive experience using games as a vehicle for learning. He taught social studies and geography in DC for 10 years and created a regular competitive scavenger hunt program in area museums. As the Director of Innovation at Live It Learn It, he built digital interactive fiction experiences to prepare students for academic trips and designed mobile experiences to enhance student learning. He is now the Education Content and Design Strategist for Dig-It! Games and helping to design educational video games and corresponding curricular materials to support their integration into core classes.

Jessica Mlyniec, Dig-It! Games

As an elementary teacher, Jessica Mlyniec has been incorporating games into her Virginia classroom in order to motivate and build stronger reasoning skills for her students. She has found that gamifying her classroom and supplementing instruction with game-based learning has encouraged her students to be active participants in their learning. Currently, Jessica is working for Dig-It! Games as the Education Outreach Specialist to help design games that can be supplemental to curriculum and still maintain elements of fun and engagement.

learning starts here

San Antonio

June 25-28, 2017

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