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ISTE 2017: 5 big technology trends shaking up digital citizenship education

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Jason Ohler opened his session at ISTE in San Antonio with some jokes — pun-filled fake news headlines on a slideshow set against music. Then his presentation shifted into the serious. "I'm 64 years old," he said. "My lungs are about 25." Ohler is a friend to technology. During his battle with pulmonary fibrosis, tech called a "lung in a box" kept him alive. But when he was at his sickest, the 40-year teaching veteran took a st
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What Super Mario taught me about learning and success

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Over the last four years, I have embraced and implemented gamification and game design principles in my U.S. History classroom. When I have presented this idea to colleagues, there is sometimes a fear that this might lead to a loss of rigor or relevance. The most common misunderstanding is that video games are just easy fun. It is true that games are entertaining, but successful video games must also efficiently teach the skills of the game while engaging the player with meaning and purpose;
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Giveaway: Win a signed copy of Matthew Farber’s book ‘Gamify Your Classroom’

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We're giving away five signed copies of teacher Matthew Farber's newly revised and expanded book, Gamify Your Classroom. In the book, Gamify Your Classroom: A Field Guide to Game‐Based Learning – Revised edition, Farber interviews more than 70 authorities in education—experts like James Paul Gee, Lee Sheldon, Jordan Shapiro, Mary Flanagan, and Mizuko (Mimi) Ito—as well as dozens of organizations, including
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Using iCivics and gamification to teach students about citizenship

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Civic education is one of the most important things students will learn in school. Civics is where students gain an understanding of what is required of the citizens of a nation in order to maintain that nation's political structure. In America, this involves an active and informed participation in the democratic process. Making sure students understand the founding constitutional principles and the rights, liberties, and responsibilities that come with citizenship is vital. In a technologica
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How to use Padlet and QR codes in the classroom

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We are lucky that we live in an age where numerous resources are readily available at our fingertips. The downfall is the lack of time we have to implement and fully discover their possible advantages and disadvantages. Recently, I experimented with adding the app Padlet to my classroom. Creating an ‘online resource box’ for students Initially, I created a Padlet page as an “online resource box” for students to access wh
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How games help students become successful readers

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Editor's Note: Guest author Ivan Kaltman is the creator of Sydney’s World, a family-friendly role-playing game that helps children improve language and literacy skills. Visual presentation of text is often overlooked as an instructional method to help students become successful readers. Reluctant readers such as dyslexic students often have inefficient visual tracking and difficulties in serial scanning of print. These studen

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Using project-based learning to teach lifelong success skills

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Should we be teaching students for assessments or for the world outside of school? With project-based learning, educators can do both. With the combined pressure on students to not only prepare and perform well on standardized tests but to also build on career success skills, schools explore many options to ensure that students flourish in all areas. Project-based learning (PBL) is a growing practice that focuses on both career preparedness and performing with an emphasis on
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How to create an educational escape room for your class

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As soon as we enter the room, the gamemaster locks the door behind us. There are multiple clues to lead us to salvation, and we have one hour to find them and make our escape. This kind of entertainment is better than going to a movie. In escape rooms, you and your friends are united in one goal: leaving that ominous place. Talking is not a luxury; it is a must. You have be a team to win. These are qual
Make Learning an Adventure, Gamify your classroom today! Start Now, It's Free!
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Games motivate students to read beyond their grade level

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Kids spend a lot of time playing video games, and it's paying off for their education. Hannah Gerber, a literacy researcher at Sam Houston State University, observed 10th grade students and found while they only read about 10 minutes a day in English class—they spent 70 minutes reading at home. They're not devouring novels but instead websites and guides devoted to their favorite video games, like Minecraft or World of W
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Why teachers need Hip Hop Education in the classroom

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Hip Hop Ed has become an ever-growing popular movement today, especially due to its cultural relevance and its tendency to promote—through its connection with students—an increased social and political awareness in an academic setting. Simply put, Hip Hop Education is the use of hip hop culture, especially rap songs and lyrics, as classroom content—both in the creation of material to learn and in the delivery of existing material.
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4 ways games have inspired real teachers (and a geologist)

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Kids love games. But it's surprising how many adults love them, too—and how many of those adults grew up to be teachers that use game-based learning (GBL) or gamification in their own classrooms. We spoke to three teachers and (for fun) a geologist, who all remember how games have shaped them as learners and creative thinkers. World of Warcraft Teacher Bobby Song from California says: Whoeve