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Get Gamin’: A Project-Based Learning Unit

Participate and share

Participate and share : Poster

Tuesday, December 1, 1:30–2:30 pm PST (Pacific Standard Time)

Dr. Jordan Mroziak  
Erin Prosser  

Are you trying to find ways to ways to engage your students in meaningful and empathic problem-solving opportunities? Learn about a collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University’s CREATE Lab to guide students through a game design project, following the engineering design process and using a human-centered design approach.

Audience: Library media specialists, Principals/head teachers, Professional developers
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Android, iOS, Windows
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Nearpod app
Topic: Project-, problem- & challenge-based learning
Grade level: 3-5
Subject area: Language arts, STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Create learning opportunities that challenge students to use a design process and computational thinking to innovate and solve problems.
  • Foster a culture where students take ownership of their learning goals and outcomes in both independent and group settings.
  • Manage the use of technology and student learning strategies in digital platforms, virtual environments, hands-on makerspaces or in the field.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Student learning can frequently be limited to knowledge and skills that are readily testable or easily assessed via traditional methods (papers, tests, etc.). As we work to design school systems that are more relevant to our rapidly changing technological landscape, design activities that focus on soft skills such as visual literacies, empathic capabilities, and creative outlets are better suited to leveraging the inherent passions of our students. These passions further enable us as learning facilitators to meet students where they are, differentiating instruction in necessary and vital ways to encourage personal growth and academic immersion. As part of this activity, students in 9 classrooms worked across 6 weeks to design, iterate on, and build a functioning game for students in 8 Kindergarten classrooms. The kindergarten learners were a vital part of the design process, providing information about likes, dislikes, and other personalized attributes.


Welcome and Introductions (2 minutes)
Describe our project-based learning unit and how it relates to Alan November’s Transformational 6. (15 minutes)
Explain our game design process with CMU (10 minutes)
Show student examples (videos, pitches, and photos. (10 minutes)
Talk about real-life partnership with CMU Create Lab (5 minutes)
Consider ways to build teacher capacity for STEAM tools in the classroom. (10 minutes)

Supporting research

Supporting Research

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Dr. Jordan Mroziak, Better Questions

Jordan Mroziak is the Director of Carnegie Mellon University’s CREATE Lab Satellite Network and Director of Community Engagement. He earned his doctorate in Instructional Technology with an emphasis on creative applications of learning technologies and critical & aesthetic pedagogy. He has designed courses ranging from The History of Hip-Hop to Creative Pedagogy through Technology as well as contributing learning materials to national organizations such as Rock and Roll Forever. His current work emphasizes the creative reimagining of teacher professional learning in order to best build habits around curiosity, empathy, reflection, and equity.

Erin Prosser, Hampton Township

This is my 13th year as Library Media Specialist/Technology Integrator at Poff Elementary in the Hampton Township School District in Pennsylvania. Prior to that, I taught Computer Applications/Title One Reading for 10 years in my hometown district in Fayette County. Over the years I presented at several technology conferences such as: ISTE, TRETC, PETE&C and other local seminars.

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