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Edtech Solutions
Network Summit
Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

Interpersonal Connection, Engagement, and Learning With Video Games During Remote Learning

Participate and share

Participate and share : Poster

Monday, November 30, 12:00–1:00 pm PST (Pacific Standard Time)

Riddhi Divanji  
Tyler Hoke  

The education system has needed to adapt to Covid-19 and students are facing difficulty staying engaged and learning information from the new virtual school setting. Explore research on how video games can enhance learning, engage students and help assess whether students understand new concept during remote learning.

Audience: Library media specialists, Teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Skill level: Intermediate
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Windows, Android, iOS
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Windows, Android, iOS
Topic: Distance, online & blended learning
Grade level: PK-12
Subject area: STEM/STEAM, Math
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Explore and apply instructional design principles to create innovative digital learning environments that engage and support learning.
  • Create learning opportunities that challenge students to use a design process and computational thinking to innovate and solve problems.
For Students:
Innovative Designer
  • Students know and use a deliberate design process for generating ideas, testing theories, creating innovative artifacts or solving authentic problems.
Additional detail: Student presentation

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

We highlight the experiences of educators we have worked with that have harnessed the the affordances of the video game Portal 2 to teach Physics and Design Thinking during remote learning. We will share first-hand teacher perspectives collected in our recent research study on the uses of Portal 2 in classroom settings. The interviews we have chosen to highlight in this presentation took place during the initial transition to remote learning in light of the Pandemic in Spring of 2020. We will also share examples of how these educators used Portal 2 to teach physics and design thinking in an engaging way that met the needs of diverse learners. We will also share lesson plans and resources for educators to take back and apply in their math, physics, design thinking, and language arts classrooms.

- Participants will learn about the implementation challenges of remote teaching with Portal 2.

- Participants will be given lesson plans to use in their math, physics, design thinking, and language arts classrooms.

- Participants will be provided with examples of how other teachers were able to use Portal 2 to teach concepts, create a sense of community, and meet the needs of diverse learners during the pandemic.

- Participants will be encouraged to think about the value of video games for learning and teaching, especially during remote learning.

- Participants will also be given a curated set of resources and pedagogical tools to reference as they work through building lessons and incorporating Portal 2 in their curriculum.

Supporting research

Borasi, R. (1994). Capitalizing on errors as “springboards for inquiry”: A teaching
experiment. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 25(2), 166-208.
Chang et al. (2012). Embedding game-based problem-solving phase into problem
posing system for mathematics learning. Computers and Education, 58, 775-
Common Core Standards (2013). Retrieved from
Egan, K. (2010). The future of schools: Reimagining education from the ground up.
New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Gee, J. (2007). What video games have to teach us about learning and literacy.
New York, NY: Palgrave/McMillan.
Graham, P. (2004). Hackers and painters: Big ideas from the computer age.
Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly Media, Inc.
Leung, S.S. (1993). The relation of mathematical knowledge and creative thinking to
the mathematical problem posing of prospective elementary school teachers on
tasks differing in numerical information content. Unpublished doctoral
dissertation, University of Pittsburgh.
Leung, S.K., & Silver, E.A. (1997). The role of task format, mathematics knowledge,
and creative thinking on the arithmetic problem posing of prospective elementary
school teachers. Mathematics Education Research Journal, 9(1), 5-24.
Moore, G. & Castaneda, L. (2012). The Broken Rooms Lesson.
Melis, E. (2004). Erroneous examples as a source of learning in mathematics.
Retrieved from
McGonigal, J. (2011). Reality is broken: Why games make us better and how they can
change the world. New York, NY: Penguin.
Ohlsson, S. (1996). Learning from performance errors. Psychological Review, 103(2),
Polya, G. (1945). How to Solve It. (2nd ed.). New York: Doubleday.
Prensky, M. (2006). Don’t bother me Mom – I’m learning. St. Paul, MN: Paragon Press.
Radatz, H. (1979). Error analysis in mathematics education. Journal for Research in
Mathematics Education, 10(3), 163-172.
Sherry, J. & Pacheco, A. (2006). Matching computer game genres to educational
outcomes. The Electronic Journal of Communication, 1 & 2, 1-10.
Tsovaltzi, D., Melis, E., McLaren, B., Dietrich, M., Goguadze, G. & Meyer, K.A. (2009).
Erroneous examples: A preliminary investigation into learning benefits. German
Research Center for Artificial Intelligence.
Willis, J. (2011) A neurologist makes the case for the video game model as a learning
tool. Edutopia. Retrieved from

More [+]


Riddhi Divanji, foundry10
Tyler Hoke, Ridge High School

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