Creative Constructor
Lab Virtual
Leadership Exchange
at ISTELive 21
Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

Power Up Your Classroom: Reimagining Learning Through Gameplay

Explore and create
Pre-registration required

Explore and create : BYODex

Sunday, June 23, 3:00–4:30 pm
Location: Franklin 8-9, Marriott

Lindsey Blass   Cate Tolnai  
Ready to have fun and leverage the power of gameplay to increase motivation, engagement and build classroom community? Explore game-based learning and the foundational mindsets and frameworks that empower teachers as designers. You will leave this highly interactive session a gamemaster, equipped with the strategies needed to launch game-based learning!

Audience: Coaches, Teachers, Professional developers
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices required
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Windows, Android, iOS
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Game-based learning and gamification
ISTE Standards: For Students:
Empowered Learner
  • Students articulate and set personal learning goals, develop strategies leveraging technology to achieve them and reflect on the learning process itself to improve learning outcomes.
For Educators:
  • Design authentic learning activities that align with content area standards and use digital tools and resources to maximize active, deep learning.
  • Explore and apply instructional design principles to create innovative digital learning environments that engage and support learning.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Participants will brainstorm the advantages and disadvantages of games and game-based learning for different learning groups, such as elementary, middle school, high school, college, and adult professional.

Participants will explore and identify games that might be integrated into the curriculum.

Participants will engage in a simulated game-based learning experience throughout the session that empowers them to connect the learning model to their own content.

Participants will discuss design principles that support the effective implementation of game-based learning.

Participants will engage in models of game-based learning, and use this experience to brainstorm a plan for how game-based learning can support their current curriculum.


Objective: Launch quest that frames the session- participants are working together towards a higher goal.
All tasks throughout session move them towards this goal

Game-based Learning: The Why (10 minutes)
Play an introductory digital game that defines game-based learning and explores the advantages and disadvantages of games and game-based learning for different learning groups, such as elementary, middle school, high school, college, and adult professional.

The What (30 minutes)
Participants will experience the 4 Cs of Game-Based Learning: Choose, Clarify, Connect, and Celebrate. They will engage in games such as Digital Breakouts, Choose Your Own Adventure Slides/Forms, formative assessment digital games, or low tech, no tech games.

The How: (30 minutes)
Analyze existing models/templates for teacher and games and student-created games and analyze their potential for impact on student learning and engagement
Engage in a game-based learning experience

The Plan: (10 minutes)
Beginning with the instructional goals, the learning environment, and learner's existing knowledge and skills, we will help participants brainstorm applications of game-based learning to support delivery of their content using a planner template aligned to best practice, ISTE Standards, and skills covered in the session.

The Call to Action (10 minutes)
Participants will actively connect with other community members focused on leveraging the power of play to increase learner engagement and motivation via social media and face-to-face networking.

Supporting research

***“Beyond Gamification: 7 Core Concepts For Creating Compelling Products ".Kim, Amy Jo, PhD. N. p., 2016. Web. 25 Oct. 2016.

***"Game Mechanics, Incentives & Recognition | Research | The Incentive Research Foundation ". Wu, Dr Michael PhD. N. p., 11 Nov. 2012. Web. 25 Oct. 2016.

***"Malcolm Knowles' Andragogy Theory Applied To Adult E-Learning". N. p., 2016. Web. 25 Oct. 2016.

***Advances in Game-Based Learning (book series):

***Edutopia Resources on Game-Based Learning:

***Explore Like a Pirate -- This book is based on the author’s personal, creative lesson design in his own classroom. It includes many pre-designed games to use for assessment, and it discusses game mechanics in the classroom.

***Level Up Your Classroom: The Quest to Gamify Your Lessons and Engage Your Students -- This book looks at a gamified learning environment in the classroom. It explores the impact of gamification on student learning, reasons to gamify your instruction, and the process for gamifying your classroom and lessons.

***Play to Learn -- This book clearly connects instruction to game design. It emphasizes game literacy, examples of a variety of instructional games, and an opportunity to play an online game as you read. By critically evaluating entertainment and learning games, the reader is coached to bring these ideas into original games they design.

***The Multiplayer Classroom: Designing Coursework as a Game: This book takes a heavy look at digital gaming by interweaving gaming terms, narrative examples, and images of games in action. The digital-first approach to game design sets the reader up to consider how to being the game to the classroom rather than create their own game.

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Lindsey Blass, SFUSD

Lindsey Blass is the Personalized Learning Environments Program Manager for San Francisco Unified School District. Serving the largest, public, urban school district in the Bay Area, Lindsey develops systems and processes to leverage technology and learning environment design to promote academic and socio-emotional growth for all students, with an emphasis in reaching historically underserved student populations. As Adjunct Faculty for Krause Center for Innovation at Foothill College, the Director of the Computer Using Educator (CUE) Blended and Online Lesson Design Symposium, and a Google Certified Innovator, she is a leader in the field of educational technology.

Cate Tolnai, Krause Center for Innovation

In her 17th year in education, Cate Tolnai’s professional experience spans strategic social marketing and communications, customer engagement, K-12 education, and both district and county level administration. As Director of Member Engagement at CUE and Adjunct Faculty at the Krause Center for Innovation at Foothills College, her deep interest in professional learning and development grows daily. Cate’s co-authored publication, “Power Up Your Classroom: Reimagine Learning Through Gameplay,” (ISTE, 2019) presents frameworks for learning engagement and instructional design. Cate’s unique skill set helps her assist each member as they take their next professional step.

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