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Power Up Your Classroom: Reimagine Learning Through Gameplay

Explore and create

Explore and create : Creation lab

Sunday, November 29, 12:15–1:05 pm PST (Pacific Standard Time)

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 foundational mindsets and frameworks that empower teachers as designers. You'll 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
Topic: Games for learning & gamification
Grade level: PK-12
ISTE Standards: 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.
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.
Additional detail: ISTE author presentation, Session recorded for video-on-demand

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

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.

Gamify Your Classroom: A Field Guide to Game-Based Learning: A heavily researched exploration of game design application in the classroom.
Game-Based Learning In Action: A narrative approach to GBL that offers a series of low-tech and high-tech integration options as well as best practices for educators who are bringing the strategies into their classrooms.

“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:

More [+]


Lindsey Blass, Adobe
Cate Tolnai, Santa Barbara County Education Office

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