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Press Start! Leveling Up Your Learners With Gamification

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Location: Room 352
Experience live: All-Access Package
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Explore and create : Creation lab

Megan Elizondo  
Dr. Joshua Tabor  

Participants will work through a fully gamified lesson developing their own definitions of what gamification looks like for them. They will learn the "why" of gamification and how it is beneficial and inclusive for all their students.

Audience: Coaches, Professional developers, Teachers
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices required
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Android, iOS, Windows
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: A Google account would be beneficial but not required.
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.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Teachers will leave the presentation with a fuller understanding of the components of gamification and the knowledge of how to apply those concepts to their existing lessons. They will use their devices to work through a gamified lesson using different technology tools (Google Suite, Flipgrid & Nearpod) they can easily access in their classrooms. We are not laying out specific models or lessons plans, because we want teachers to think through their own lessons and models for application, not forcing what our district does on them. Success will look like excited teachers ready to learn more about gamification and understanding how it applies to their specific situations.


60-minute session:

10 minutes: Introductions and set up of the game.
• Instead of starting with a traditional explanation, we want teachers to experience gamification before we define it for them.
• We will take a brief period after introductions to make sure everyone knows what technology is being used and has access.

30 minutes: Gamified Lesson
• Participants will be given the starting point of the game and then left to work through the process. The session leaders will circulate to assist as necessary if anyone is having difficulty.
• Through the lesson participants will learn about the different types of gamification so they can develop their own definition of what it might look like for them.
• They will also start to learn the ‘why’ of gamification and how it will benefit their students.

10 minutes: Debrief
• We will explain our process in building the lesson and the ‘why’ we followed.
• We want teachers to understand how we applied the design process, but also see they can apply it completely differently and have success.
10 minutes: Extension
• Two groups will be created: the Big Idea Group and the Workgroup
• The Big Idea Group is for those that want to extend the conversation and have theoretical discussions about the applications of gamification
• The Workgroup is for those who want to start applying their new knowledge immediately.
• We will offer these groups so participants can continue their learning while still having access to the presenters and other teachers.

Supporting research

The Gamification of Learning and Instruction : Game-Based Methods and Strategies for Training and Education. San Francisco, CA :Pfeiffer, 2012.

Kapp, Karl M., 1967-. (2014). The gamification of learning and instruction fieldbook : ideas into practice. San Francisco, CA :Wiley,

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Megan Elizondo, Denton ISD

Megan Elizondo has been an educator and digital learning specialist for 8 years, working primarily with upper elementary and middle school students and teachers. Currently, she is the Learning Management Systems Specialist supporting the district with various digital platforms.

Dr. Joshua Tabor, Denton Independent School District
ISTE Certified Educator

Dr. Joshua Tabor is a digital learning specialist supporting the K-8 Virtual Academy in the Denton Independent School District in Denton, TX. He has been in education for over 20 years working as a DLS, social studies teacher and coach. He holds a doctorate from Texas A&M University where he conducted research on online learning at the secondary level. In addition to online learning his research fields include: blended learning methods and gamification. He is also an adjunct professor at the University of North Texas. Joshua lives in McKinney, Texas with his wife, Amanda, and their son, Braxton.

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