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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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Foreword by Greg Toppo


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I’ve covered education for most of the past 15 years, and I’ve come away with several rather cynical ideas about our schools. The most significant of these is this: We must never underestimate the ability of a group of people to mess up a good thing.

Again and again, I’ve seen instances where seemingly simple, straightforward ideas turn to dust amid the fraught politics and bizarre incentive structures of our education system.

Matthew Farber’s book does a lot of things, but what I’m hoping it will do most effectively is provide a kind of booster shot—or maybe it’s an actual vaccination—against future mess-ups. I really hope this book wards off the misuse of a potentially transformative tool: smart, well-designed games that get children and teachers excited about learning. We need them badly, and if anyone is going to show us how to get it right, it’s Farber.

Again and again while reading this book, I was struck by the breadth of his research. The last time I saw him, I told him he seems to know—and have scored an interview—with everyone in this business. But just as important is the depth and thoughtfulness that he brings to the enterprise, his ability to look at games through a teacher’s problem-solving lens.

Remarkably—though I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised—he has the true practitioner’s ability to see the folks doing amazing things not...

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