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Assess, Connect, & Play: Gaming & Game Design With Nearpod


Participate and share: Interactive session
Recorded Session
Virtual Session
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Director of School Pathways, CS
NYC Dept. of Education
ISTE Certified Educator
For 20 years, Sean has been an educator and administrator in NYC Public Schools (mostly District 75, citywide special education). He remains committed to accessibly and equitably reaching ALL students through innovative technology and practices. He was a featured voice at ISTE 23 and was named a top 30 K-12 IT influencer. This is in addition to many other awards and certifications he has received. The areas in education where his expertise is most highly regarded include the topics of accessibility, gaming, challenge-based learning, computer science, and STEM. He shares his expertise at
Executive Director of EdTech DIIT D31
ISTE Certified Educator
Presently I am an, NYCDOE EdTech Citywide Lead, and a member of the NYCDOE for over 16+ years in various capacities. I spent 7 years as an elementary classroom teacher, 3 as a technology coach, 6 years as an EdTech Instructional Lead for District 31 supporting 71+ schools and now as a citywide edtech lead supporting all 5 borough in the NYCDOE. My experiences have been around edtech visioning, professional developing/planning/teaming, infusion of the ISTE standards for all, growth of SAMR and content infused technology along with leadership development with digital citizenship being at the helm of my work.

Session description

Whether online or in-person, educators need to teach, assess, and connect with students meaningfully. And playful learning can promote social-emotional learning along with future-ready skills. Come play some games and learn to create your own classwide or student-pace games for instruction and assessment.

Purpose & objective

The participants will be able to:
Understand how to utilize interactive lessons for the best impact
Engage in differentiated presentation and assessment methods
Understand the purpose of gamified learning and how it connects both to social-emotional learning skills and future-readiness skills
Play through a gamified professional learning experience
Create engaging assessments for students themselves
Ensure accessible personalized learning materials
See how to engage in collaborative challenge activities across in-person and remote learning spaces.
This type of gamified professional learning model has been amongst the most popular sessions and most effective at initiating culture-shift at several other conferences where we have engaged in it. We have used it with students and through in-person and remote events. Moreso this specific session will push people to look outside their idea of how creativity can be modeled in a classroom

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Intro (2-5 min)-Background and introductions, stated outcomes, and directions in joining the Nearpod lesson collectively

The Why of Games (5 min)-We will explore the research behind the power of games for learning along with a brief history and explanation of what EduGames have been most effective

Example Damified Lesson (10 min)-We will guide teachers through an exemplar inclusive and playful lesson with a range of opportunities for them to playfully participate and share their stories and experiences as well.

Let’s Play (15-20 min)-The whole session is a game where participants will play to learn, but we will break it down into segments.
Nearpod built-in games
Quick Games
Board Games & Games shows
Advanced Games/Escape Rooms
Challenge-Based Learning

Game Design (25 min) - We will walk participants through the creation of their own games..

Conclusion/Call to Action (5 min)-Not only will learners to be able to take away the full presentation with built-in notes along with their own creations, but we will share a range of other resources and templates we have compiled for educators that they can bring back to instill playful learning in their schools as well.

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Supporting research

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Session specifications

Games for learning & gamification
Grade level:
Skill level:
Coaches, Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers
Attendee devices:
Devices required
Attendee device specification:
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials:
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.
  • Use technology to design and implement a variety of formative and summative assessments that accommodate learner needs, provide timely feedback to students and inform instruction.
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