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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
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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
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Teaching students 21st-century skills with cooperative board games

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I’ve been a game nerd since Christmas Eve 1986, when my Nana taught me to play penny-ante poker. Sitting around the dinette table, I remember the frustration of losing to my family members for years until I learned enough to finally win. It was a “trial by fire” method that certainly worked, but it taught me to be a cutthroat competitor rather than a supportive team member. That’s not exactly the best tactic considering modern workplaces demand collaborative skills, so I give my stude

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5 of Classcraft’s favorite classic learning games

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Here at the Classcraft team, we’re obviously big fans of gaming. And some of our fondest memories come from the learning games we played growing up in school. We thought it’d be fun to reflect back on those classics, so we asked several team members about the educational games they remembered playing in computer labs, during recess, or even at home. Here are five that we recall from our school days. Wor
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Is it “Risky” to use board games as a teaching tool?

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“The object of the game is to occupy every territory on the board and in so doing, eliminate all other players.” If we take out “on the board,” how many technology-based games could taut these objectives: World of Warcraft? League of Legends? Starcraft? Sid Meier's Civilization series? But these are the objectives for Risk, the board game invented by Parker Brothers in 1959. The idea of using Risk as a teaching tool came to me during a lesson on the early exploration of America. I
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Tyto Online teaches STEM concepts through an MMO

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Finally, there's an MMO designed from the ground up to be educational. Tyto Online is the new massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) from Immersed Games, a developer with only about 20 people. Its CEO is Lindsey Tropf, whose background in education and school psychology—as well as data-based decision-making for teachers and schools—makes her the perfect person to build a game world that a
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7 studies that prove game-based learning really works

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The research proves it: Video games help students better understand what they’re studying in school. In a recent paper titled “Video Games in Education,” elementary teacher Matthew C. Heins looked at a number of studies where teachers used games in K-12 classes. “Video games were utilized in every major content area to an extent to help improve student learning,” Heins wrote. “The learning that took place improve
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How Filament makes educational games teachers and students love

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When it comes to making learning games, asking, “How do you make sure it’s fun and also educational?” is the wrong question. Filament Games’ Dan Norton knows all about this. “People enjoy learning," he told Classcraft in an interview. “But the goals of the teacher or administrators versus the goals of the student is where the real tension is.” That's what gamemakers shoul
Make Learning an Adventure, Gamify your classroom today! Start Now, It's Free!
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Cogent Education launching Interactive Case study on evolution

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Cogent Education is releasing a new simulation in its Interactive Cases playable series, where kids become scientists solving real-world problems. The new Interactive Case looks at evolution and puts students in the role of a CDC scientist investigating an outbreak of multi-drug resistant bacterial infections. Students will record observations, analyze data, formulate and test hypotheses, and more. Teachers
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A leadership expert’s perspective on World of Warcraft in school

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When it comes to finding 21st-century skills in action, look no further than your nearest virtual guild. Marie Bjerede is an education and technology advisor from Portland, Oregon. She worked for Qualcomm for over 23 years, since the telecommunications equipment company was a startup, serving as its vice president of wireless education technology and leading engineers and testers. A self-professed "leadership geek and learning advocate,"