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Game-based Learning: Minecraft, Fortnite Creative and Beyond

Pennsylvania Convention Center, 113C

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Sr. Manager Customer Engagement
Nathan has been delivering professional development in schools for over a decade. Most recently Nathan was the Ed Tech coordinator for a district in central Phoenix and now with insight2execution an educational consultancy serving districts around the country with ed tech integration training and planning. On Twitter @edtechwells

Session description

Game-based learning provides opportunities for students to learn through play, but the goal is for students to show their learning. We'll discuss ways educators are using Minecraft: Education Edition and Fortnite Creative to engage students in their interests. We'll also provide examples and ways to bring this to your classroom.

Purpose & objective

This session is focused on moving past the notion that these are just games. We will discuss how Minecraft: Education Edition, Fortnite Creative and others are opportunities for students to demonstrate their learning still within controlled and standards focused ways. Students need structure but structure that allows freedom of choice.
Participants will walk away with resources and ideas on how to bring game-based learning to their classroom.
Participants will have the opportunity to learn from one another through discussion and collaborative work.
Participants will be able to discuss how they have tried and the challenges they have faced with brining games into their classrooms with time for others to support them.
Everyone will have a collaborative Wakelet with resource links that they can also add to and continue to ideas and sources to as well.

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5 mins How do you learn best? Poll.ev online poll world cloud and quick review of responses
10 mins Participate in a discussion of what is learning. Table or partner discussion with group shout outs for the whole group to hear and facilitator to synthesize
5 mins View student examples Look at different types of students examples
5 mins Discuss how these examples apply to you Table group or neighbor discussions with time to share out to the whole group
5 mins View student examples Watch a student video explaining their learning displayed in a game and discuss how the prompts provided student choice
10 mins Choice activity Participants use Wakelet to pick ways they would like to learn more on their own. Share out what activities they enjoy when given choice.
10 mins Where to start in your class Provide a list of environment options, but have time to discuss and share through the poll.ev
5 mins Next steps Look at easy ways to get started using game-based learning in your environment
5 mins Reflection wrap up Reflect with 1. Ideas that captured your attention, 2. Questions you are thinking about, 3. One thing you'll remember long after this session.
Ask questions and share with their neighbors.

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Supporting research

SuperBetter, The Power of Living Gamefully by Jane McGonigal
Learning in the Zone, The 7 Habits of Meta-Learners by Dr. Sonny Magana

Girls who Game program

Effects of Game-Based Learning on Attitude and Achievement in Elementary Mathematics
Foundations of Game-Based Learning

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Session specifications

Games for learning & gamification
Grade level:
Skill level:
Coaches, Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers
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:
Subject area:
Computer science, STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards:
For Educators:
  • Use technology to create, adapt and personalize learning experiences that foster independent learning and accommodate learner differences and needs.
  • Design authentic learning activities that align with content area standards and use digital tools and resources to maximize active, deep learning.
  • Foster a culture where students take ownership of their learning goals and outcomes in both independent and group settings.
Related exhibitors:
Microsoft Corporation