March 3, 2015

Subscribe to SLJ

Quest to Learn: A collaborative effort to design engaging game-like learning environments | Gaming Life


If you’ve played enough well-designed games, you know that they provide immediate feedback, are constantly challenging, promote learning by doing, and reframe failure as iteration. As most teachers already know, these are core principles of good teaching. This is a powerful relationship. When we make it explicit, and design from it, we see students engaged in playful, studious, and deep learning.

In 2009, the Institute of Play, a not-for-profit design studio founded by a group of game designers, […]

International Games Day @ your library

International Games Day

The American Library Association (ALA) is coordinating the annual International Games Day @ your library (IGD12) for Saturday, November 3, 2012. It is estimated that more than one thousand libraries around the world will showcase gaming programs and services in support of IGD12. This year marks the 5th annual event. In 2011, over 27,700 people played games at more than 1,400 libraries across the U.S. and in other countries.

Get Kids Designing with Student-Created Games | The Gaming Life


Over the last five years, as the gaming and library technology specialist for the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership, an educational services agency that supports the libraries of 22 small, rural districts in western New York state, I’ve helped develop a gaming program that enables teachers, in collaboration with myself and the school librarian, to integrate non-digital game resources into their classroom curriculum.

The Competitive Edge: Online gaming can motivate students and make learning more fun

The word competitiveness often conjures up a negative image. Maybe it’s an athlete willing to do anything to be the best. Or perhaps it’s a corporate shark climbing up the workplace ladder by backstabbing co-workers. But being competitive doesn’t have to have a negative connotation. I’m a very competitive gamer and believe in giving my all to anything—especially a good game. But I always play by the rules. And if I win, that’s certainly a plus.

Playing competitive […]

Wii Learn: Surprise elementary grade students with a fun way to learn math

For the past two years, we have been using a tool to support math instruction in our schools that is as familiar to many students as riding a bike—the Nintendo Wii. Viewing the video game console through the eyes of an educator has opened up a world of mathematical applications through which students can master concepts, teachers can align with the Common Core Standards, and classrooms can reflect students’ experiences and interests.

The Common Core State Standards Initiative […]

Creative Tabletop Gaming: ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ and Libraries (Oh My!)

Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) has been available for 37 years in a variety of editions, and it still remains the standard for tabletop role-playing games (RPGs). Like similar games, play largely exists in the imaginations of its participants. Play is aided by limited visual aids such as maps and tokens, and dice are used to determine the outcome of certain events.

The Dungeon Master (DM) plans, organizes, and describes the action, and each player (between 4 and 6 […]

What Is Systems Thinking?: Interactive Components of Video Games Are Perfect Examples

“Why didn’t we do this sooner?” This question was posed by a student at Franklin High School in Portland, Oregon, who was failing Diana Fisher’s math class. Many people dislike math because it is so abstract and just not a natural way to think about problems, Fisher candidly admits. So she’s on a constant quest to make it easier for her students. She found the answer by integrating a systems thinking model into her classroom.

Diana Fisher recently […]

New York Comic Con 2011: Video games take the spotlight at this pop-culture event

More than 100,000 attendees jammed the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in October for the East Coast’s largest pop-culture event—New York City’s 2011 Comic Con—featuring the latest in comics, graphic novels, anime, manga, video games, toys, and movies. Many of the standing-room-only sessions were geared towards teachers and librarians, providing information about video games in libraries, e-books, graphic novels as tools to connect with library users, and more.

Panels were packed with librarians, graphic designers, gamers, and comic […]

Board Game Design | The Gaming Life

Incan Gold

A pedagogical tool for inquiry and expression

“It’s about Barbie” the first girl began. I chuckled and then began to smile as the two high school seniors began to explain their game. They were just one of six groups in a class participating in a collaborative project facilitated by Kathy Wahl, Avon (NY) Central School Dis-trict’s high school librarian, the school’s statistics teacher, and myself that centered around utilizing board game de-sign as a method for inquiry and expression.

We divided the […]