Build a Better World Through Games and VR? Find Out in the SLJ ISTE Webcast on ‘Game-Based Learning’

Can games and game-like experiences promote a better world—both in and out of the classroom? Find out Wednesday, April 3, as “Game-Based Learning: Ideas for the Classroom & Library" starts a new series of #SLJISTE webcasts. 

Can games and game-like experiences promote a better world—both in and out of the classroom? Find out Wednesday, April 3, when three educators, bringing diverse expertise and perspectives to the topic, present “Game-Based Learning: Ideas for the Classroom & Library.”

It’s the first in a series of webcasts presented by School Library Journal (SLJ) in cooperation with ISTE (the International Society for Technology in Education).

Games and virtual reality have the potential to engage students in new and compelling ways, according to Thomas Knowlton, school outreach librarian for MyLibraryNYC, a  partnership between Brooklyn Public Library, New York Public Library, Queens Library, and the NYC Department of Education. Knowlton, who will present as part of the April 3 webcast, maintains that schools and libraries are uniquely positioned to integrate games, using a forward-thinking and inclusive mindset. “Rather than replicating toxic elements of game culture or problematic representations in VR, we can offer a thoughtful, welcoming environment that meets students and colleagues where they are,” he says.

Also on the panel, Joey Lee, Ph.D. a lecturer in ed tech at Teachers College, Columbia University, will present examples and practical tools to help educators leverage gaming for learning and social impact. Cate Tolnai, director of member engagement for CUE, the ISTE affiliate in California, will round out the SLJ ISTE program. Tolnai has written an upcoming book with co-author Lindsey Blass: Power Up Your Classroom: Reimagine Learning Through Gameplay (ISTE, June 2019).

The session kicks off the popular “#SLJISTE” professional development series, which returns this year with insight and practical tips for implementing the latest tools in education. In addition to game-based learning, other hour-long programs in the spring series will cover AR/VR/ Mixed Reality (Wednesday, April 24) and  SEL (Social Emotional Learning) (Wednesday, May 15).

All sessions are geared for applying technology in K–12 and library environments—the “why,” as well as the “how”—and offer a certificate for attendees to apply toward continuing ed credit. Registration is free of charge. 

Can’t make the live broadcast?  All programs will be archived and available for on-demand viewing.

The spring 2019 #SLJISTE series is sponsored by Capstone, Demco, Mackin, and TLC.

Full program details:


Session 1: Game-Based Learning: Ideas for the Classroom & Library

Wednesday, April 3, 2019, 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM ET / 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM PT


Thomas Knowlton, School Outreach Librarian, MyLibraryNYC, New York Public Library 

Dr. Joey J. Lee, Lecturer, Teachers College, Columbia University

Cate Tolnai, Director of Member Engagement, CUE; Adjunct Faculty, Krause Center for Innovation


Kara Yorio, News Editor, School Library Journal


Session 2 | Get Started With AR/VR/Mixed Reality

Wednesday, April 24, 2019, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM ET / 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM PT


Anson Ho, Program Manager, Microsoft

Jaime Donnally, Founder of #ARVRinEDU & #GlobalMakerDay

Aditya Vishwanath, Ph. D. student, Stanford University and Cofounder of Inspirit


Kathy Ishizuka, Executive Editor, School Library Journal


Session 3 | Social Emotional Learning: Tools for the Classroom & Library

Wednesday, May 15, 2019, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM ET / 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM PT


Rusul Alrubail, Executive Director, Parkdale Center, Toronto, Ontario

Shannon Miller, International speaker, consultant and author

Rose Prejan-Harris, Director of SEL, Atlanta Public Schools

Ryan Twentey, Photography & Computer Graphics Teacher, Parkville High School


Sarah Bayliss, Editor, News & Features, School Library Journal

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