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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!

"Matthew Farber’s voice rings with authenticity—he’s a real teacher, in a real classroom, who is passionate about working with young people. He is a true practitioner of what he presents, but he also is able to float above his school to offer us a comprehensive, bird’s eye view of the complicated and often contradictory field of games and learning. It is a gift for all of us to have a teacher’s voice as part of the literature and research in this field. In this book, Farber has done what games and play have the power to do—raise big questions, investigate different perspectives and stories, explore challenges, and allow us to emerge from the experience full of joyous curiosity and inspired to learn more."—Rebecca Rufo-Tepper, Director of Programs, Institute of Play

"The world of games in education is vast. Matthew Farber is a clear-eyed guide to lands both familiar and foreign, and «Gamify Your Classroom» is a combined atlas and encyclopedia of game-based learning. This book is valuable for teachers, school leaders, and scholars. No matter what your destination in game-based learning, Farber can help you navigate like a native."—Barry Fishman, Professor, University of Michigan

"Matthew Farber’s «Gamify Your Classroom» is the definitive guide to game-based learning. Whether you are dipping your toes in the pool or swimming in the deep end, this book is a rich resource. He has left no stone unturned as he provides background of game theory, history of the game industry (commercial and educational) and a tremendous practical overview of what is happening in the game-based learning space. The book is an easy read and demonstrates that he is a walking encyclopedia on the topic. I am truly amazed at the fact that Farber clearly connected with everyone in the field, and ties the work together beautifully."—Steve Isaacs, Middle School Teacher of Video Game Design and Development