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Engaging Students with Game-Based Learning

Screen-shot-2012-05-07-at-11.29.49-PM-150x150Aiming to make learning more fun and engaging for students, a growing number of educators are turning to digital games and simulations to help teach core curriculum.

This practice raises a number of key questions, such as: What does research say about gaming’s potential as an educational strategy? What best practices exist to help educators incorporate gaming into their classrooms successfully? How can schools ensure that games have real educational value, and are not just entertainment?

With the generous support of VINCI, we’ve assembled this collection of eSchool News stories and other resources to help you answer these questions as you consider the use of game-based learning in your own schools.

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eSchool News Articles

Research-based games help make learning fun again

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Young children are naturally curious, and one of the main ways they learn is through play. Yet, when they arrive at school, too often this sense of play…

VINCI offers blended learning for pre-K

VINCI-founder-yang

Technology entrepreneur Dr. Dan D. Yang already had achieved fame within the world of physics, having earned close to 20 U.S. patents—some of which became the standard for…

ISTE keynote: Gaming has huge educational potential

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Gaming--educational gaming in particular--has supporters and skeptics. During the ISTE 2013 opening keynote, speaker Jane McGonigal, , a gaming researcher and author of Reality is Broken: Why Games…

Engaging learners through games: Help or hype?

Engaging learners through games: Help or hype?

Games are often trumpeted as the perfect tool for creating learner engagement. But what do we really know about how engagement works? What opportunities and risks do games…

How I turned my classroom into a ‘living video game’—and saw achievement soar

How I turned my classroom into a ‘living video game’—and saw achievement soar

The notion that struggling and failing is important to learning runs counter to traditional approaches to U.S. education. In the world of gaming, however, the very elements of…

How ‘game mechanics’ can revitalize education

How ‘game mechanics’ can revitalize education

Many of the elements and engagement factors found in any number of games across a wide range of genres can help inform the shape of tomorrow’s classrooms.…

How to engage girls with gaming

How to engage girls with gaming

Many people associate video games and gaming with boys, but researchers have discovered that girls become just as engaged when playing interactive educational games featuring certain motivating elements.…

How mainstream video games are being used as teaching tools

How mainstream video games are being used as teaching tools

A growing number of educators are using video games as teaching tools to help students develop a wide array of skills—from writing and physics to problem solving and…

Bill Gates: Why ‘game-based learning’ is the future of education

Bill Gates: Why ‘game-based learning’ is the future of education

In Bill Gates’ vision of the classrooms of the future, students are grouped according to skill set. One cluster huddles around a computer terminal, playing an educational game…

Game-based learning catching on in schools

Game-based learning catching on in schools

Instead of pulling out books and paper at Nature Hill Intermediate School in Oconomowoc, Wis., on a recent morning, sixth-grader A.J. Remus and his peers practiced language arts…

$3M gaming project could help spark STEM education

$3M gaming project could help spark STEM education

A $3 million Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant will help the MIT Education Arcade build a massively multiplayer online game to help high school students learn math…

Next for education: Teacher avatars

Chemistry teacher Brenda Remus is developing her intelligent avatar.

Hoping to brush up on colonial history, a student looks at a computer screen where a smiling, blinking Benjamin Franklin gazes back. The student types a simple question.…

Additional Resources

OpenEd highlights Common Core-aligned videos, games

OpenEd highlights Common Core-aligned videos, games Teachers and parents have another resource to help them find free, standards-based videos and games to enhance students’ education: OpenEd.


‘Educade’ features hands-on lessons, teaching tools

With funding and support from AT&T, ed-tech company GameDesk has created a new hands-on teaching and learning portal called Educade, which aims to “put fun and creativity back into learning.”


Online game helps students understand how democracy works

Created for the National Conference of State Legislators by D’Vinci, a developer of websites and eLearning experiences, “American Democracy” is an online role-playing game to help students in grades 6-8 understand the workings of democracy in a fun, immersive environment.


Arcademic Skill Builders releases free educational video games

Arcademic Skill Builders, a free online resource that began as a side project at the University of Kansas’ School of Education, has released 40 web-based video games that help students practice basic math, language arts, vocabulary, and thinking skills while in the classroom or at home.


New computer games promote civics education

An “unintended consequence” of the No Child Left Behind initiative has been a decrease in civics knowledge, former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor said in promoting an expanded version of a web site that uses computer games to put a fun spin on learning about government.
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