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Gamify Your Classroom

A Field Guide to Game-Based Learning – Revised edition

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Matthew Farber

This completely revised and expanded field guide is packed with new innovative ideas on how to implement game-based learning and gamification techniques in everyday teaching. With nearly two dozen more experts than the first edition, this book contains interviews with more than 70 authorities in the field, including academics such as James Paul Gee, Kurt Squire, Mizuko (Mimi) Ito, Lee Sheldon, Jordan Shapiro, and Mary Flanagan. The author also shares conversations with experts from numerous organizations such as Common Sense Media, iCivics, DragonBox, Connected Camps, GlassLab Games, Schell Games, Institute of Play, Games for Change, BrainPOP, Tiggly, Toca Boca, ThinkFun, BrainQuake, Filament Games, BreakoutEDU, Kahoot, Classcraft, and more. Featuring a new introduction, as well as a foreword from USA Today’s national K-12 education writer Greg Toppo, this book provides new practical lesson plan ideas, ready-to-use games, and links for further research in each updated chapter. Included are best practice recommendations from star game-based learning teachers, including Steve Isaacs, Peggy Sheehy, Michael Matera, Rafranz Davis, Zack Gilbert, and Paul Darvasi. Regardless of your teaching discipline or grade level, whether you are new to game-based learning or if you have experience and want to take a deeper dive, this book will engage and reinvigorate the way you teach and how your students learn!

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Chapter 1. Games for Learning

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GAMES FOR LEARNING

Learning with video games dates back to the 1970s. Digital games entered schools around the same time as desktop computers. I fondly remember playing Oregon Trail on an Apple II computer in 7th grade. Over the years, computer games grew in sophistication. To understand how we got to where we are today, it helps to review the successes and misfires of the past.

Recently, several educational versions of commercial games have entered the market. SimCityEDU: Pollution Challenge! is the systems thinking game about city management. There is also Words with Friends EDU, CivilizationEDU, and Minecraft: Education Edition. Comparatively, there aren’t EDU novels in classrooms. Why? Is the information delivered in a game different than with other media? I didn’t read Call of the Wild EDU to learn about Jack London’s usages of literary devices. Do books need teacher dashboards that report data analytics on chapters read? Do EDU versions of games imply distrust in the ability of a teacher to use games as high quality curriculum, the way off-the-shelf books are used? I asked Tanner Higgin, the Director of Education Editorial Strategy at Common Sense Education, in March 2016. He said:

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