The Game Believes In YOU!

An exploration based on Greg Toppo's gamification book.

Core Idea/Concept

Our deep play group has been exploring ways to implement STEM in our classroom. We have looked at games, engineering design and low-tech technology. This book pushed us to look at gamification and its place in our classrooms. The Game Believes In You by Greg Toppo is a discussion of how students' excitement and interest in gaming could/should be utilized in order to raise achievement. As gaming technology advances, we must acknowledge its benefits and strategize ways to use it even more in the classroom.

Five FAST Facts from the book....

  • "Play is how we learn." (p42)
  • "Video games are the most efficient feedback machines we'll ever learn." (p51)
  • "Giving kids the freedom to interact in a virtual world led improbably to greater engagement in real-life school." (p120)
  • "The most essential principals of the game in school movement is that we must lower the cost of failure." (p77)
  • "A game can also help people face down their fears". p.207

Five FAVE Resources

1. Institute of Play: Why Games and Learning

2. Edutopia: Game Based Learning

3. Tech & Learning: Game Based Learning

4. Edudemic: Game Based Resources

5. The Knowledge Guru: Game Based Learning and Gamification


The Game Believes In You

Purchase your own copy of this book to inspire and inform your teaching!

What Video Games Teach Us About Learning and Literacy

Check out this book by James Paul Gee (quoted by Greg Toppo in his book!)


Want to keep exploring? Check out these articles!

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Who are we and where did our exploration take us?

Clockwise starting with the robot:

Chris Layton (the robot) MS Science teacher

A counter-intuitive idea presented in the book is that games are engaging and fun because they're hard - hard fun. Based on this, I've restructured my Experiment Wednesdays to use a game format with specific, challenging goals for each activity.

Marianna Jennings, HS Math teacher.

I have been exploring "problem solving play" days. I have my students team up to solve puzzle type on-line activities and then ask them to think about transferring those skills and strategies to what we are studying in class.

Molly Lahart, HS Math teacher.

I have been exploring the use of technology for team building. Using one device per small group of students builds energy and cooperation while strategizing a problem in order to arrive at a correct method/answer.

Sandra Jackson, STEM Coordinator, In supporting teachers with STEM integration, gamification will be presented through professional development as another strategy in emphasizing problem based learning.

Preston Lewis, STEM lab teacher

This book has helped me incorporate more game based learning experiences into my units. This has helped with student engagement in and excitement for learning.

Tasia Pena, 6th grade math and science

This book has made me want to integrate games more into my classroom. The quote that said that games have unlimited patience really resonated with me.