Make a Change with Games

by Lisa Whatley

What I learned from "Let the Games Begin! Transform Your Classroom with Popular Commercial Games."

“Play is powerful.” Play time should not be separate from learning time. Playing games and using technology should not be a reward for after doing class work. It should be the class work.

Games are pleasantly frustrating, provide just in time learning, exploration and a “heroic sense of purpose.”

Games are all about assessment and show that “ it is ok to fail” and failure is the best opportunity for learning.

In this Gamified Classroom, students are called “heroes,” teachers are called “lore keepers,” grades are replaced with experience points, and assignments are called quests. Students choose which quests they do and in what order they do them.

A great game to integrate into the class room is Minecraft, which is a “sandbox game” with no limits, no subscription fees , useful for K-12, utilizes a Local server and is cheaper than most “educational” games.

Game based projects which can be found at

In the WoW in School Project, using an online World of Warcraft common Core aligned classroom, students have several parallel reading and writing assignments such as reading The Hobbit, writing game-themed poetry riddles, tweeting as a character from a game, creating ads using characters and places from the games, creating fan fiction, and create heraldry and write about the symbolism chosen.

Lucas Gillispie’s 16 Tips for Bringing Games into the Classroom

1. Read what the experts are saying (James Paul Gee, for example)

2. Talk to your learners about the games they are playing

3. Let your own children to teach you how to play the games

4. Pick up a new game and play it

5. Put your teacher lenses on while looking at games to see how they could be used in class

6. don’t overlook commercial games not designed for learning (examples, Angry birds, Sim City)

7. Start with you instructional goals in mind

8. Don’t ignore mobile games

9. Don’t incentivize game play that divides play and learning both should be viewed as fun.

10.Collaborate and share what you learn with other professionals

11. You will need your IT staff’s help so treat them special

12. Talk to you administrators to get support

13. Find funding such as Donor’s Choose

14. Start in a place in which it is safe to fail (for example summer school or a club)

15. Market what is happening in your classroom- spread the word through blogs, etc.

16. Remember how to play

My Reflection on my EdWeb Webinar Experience

My webinar experience was very pleasant because the topic was interesting and the lecturer was engaging, likeable and knowledgeable. The webinar lasted over an hour; however, it did not seem that long. Gillispie kept a good pace, presenting the content in an easy to understand manner and providing visuals which were helpful and visually interesting. I was very impressed with the archived webinar selection of over 70 videos available for viewing. I plan to share with my faculty so that they too can view the inspirational videos which make you feel like you can make a positive change in your classroom and school.

Edurealms: “Where gaming and education converge.”

At this site, learn more about the Common Core aligned WoW and Mine craft in Schools Projects, and ipod games in school. Check out the “Presentation Resources” for videos, resources and links. “Research and Resources” has more videos and research.

World of Warcraft: Starter Edition - The WoW Beginners Guide Episode 2: Interface Settings
World of Warcraft: Starter Edition - The WoW Beginners Guide Episode 1: Basic Settings
Minecraft in School Wiki!

This wiki contains lots of useful information for integrating Minecraft in schools. It has great lesson plans and practical implementation ideas. There are many videos including student work examples.

Minecraft Tutorials - E01 How to Survive your First Night (UPDATED!)
Minecraft Tutorials - E02 Mining and Smelting Iron (Survive and Thrive II)
Minecraft Tutorials - E03 Door, Shears, Bed (Survive and Thrive II)
Game-Based Learning: Resource Roundup

This is a great resource to get started with game-based learning. Edutopia's collection of articles, videos, and resources on using games, simulations, and gaming concepts in the classroom seems almost endless. Sign up for the newsletter, too.

Gamification For The Epic Win: Gaming Livebinder

This Livebinder is extensive, useful and informative. It includes great links to videos, research, games, webinars and blogs and much more! Find information and practical ideas to make gaming integration simple.

Donors Choose: Get Funding for Gaming in your Classroom

This online charity supports schools. Teachers post classroom project requests and donors give money to support the project. Materials are shipped to schools when the project reaches full funding.