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Gamify Your Classroom

A Field Guide to Game-Based Learning – Revised edition


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 15. Geeking Out and Earning Badges


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Educator Rafranz Davis is an advocate for interest-driven learning. When we spoke in April 2016, she talked about how gaming is just one of many interests that youth have. “Learning is different in terms of what a kid is interested in,” she said. “We need to understand that not every kid is interested in games. We also have to broaden our definition of gaming and talk about how the design of games incorporates so many aspects of what kids are interested in.”

Davis shared a story about working with her district’s robotics team. She was amazed as she listened to students talk about what their passions were and how it translates into their robotics team. Some of the team members were deeply invested in gaming. Specifically, they played the card game Magic: The Gathering. Because of this, they wanted to program games into their club’s robot. Other kids on the team who were into art, music, and writing wanted to apply those interests. At the center was the robot.

Games are designed in such a way that they can incorporate the multiple interests of children. When a company like BrainPOP designs a game, each person on the team has a specific role. There are designers, coders, researchers, artists, and more. “We don’t talk about that stuff,” Davis said. ← 279 | 280 → “We need to provide multiple platforms besides just designing a game.” She continued:...

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