EPISODE 144: The Elements of a Great Educational Game [PODCAST]

Matthew Farber does a masterful job of explaining game mechanics, Bartle's player types, and how to use gaming in the classroom. In Episode #144 of Every Classroom Matters, Matt also talks about game design as it relates to the classroom and how he uses questions to level up his classroom design.

[button href=”http://www.bamradionetwork.com/every-classroom-matters/3003-the-elements-of-a-great-educational-game” primary=”true” centered=”true” newwindow=”true”]Listen to ECM #144 with Matthew Farber[/button]

He also relates the “magic circle” of play with the zone of proximal development. Matthew is helping create a common design grammar between game design and what is happening with education. He teaches his middle school students about Game Mechanics and Bartle's player types as part of a game literacy he builds in his classroom.

[callout]Note from Vicki: If any of you follow educational gaming and know anything about “real” game design, you'll know that many in education are blindly trying to figure it out without applying research and terminology from the rapidly maturing game-design industry. You can't slap points and badges on it and say you're gamifying![/callout]

Matthew Farber's new book Gamify Your Classroom: A Field Guide to Game-Based Learning (New Literacies and Digital Epistemologies), is a must-read for those working with games in the classroom. Matt includes both research and practical classroom ideas in each chapter. (I love it when classroom teachers write as they teach, the result is a fresh book that really WORKS in the classroom. That is what Matt has done with his book.)

It is fascinating to hear Matt talk about a conversation he had with Richard Bartle about the misapplication of Bartle's player types in game design.

I especially enjoyed Matt sharing how he taught his sixth grade students social studies lessons about the Columbian exchange. It helps me picture how to use games by using game stations.

Some must-have takeaways that Matt mentioned in this episode:

Matt points out that game designers keep asking questions and iterating. He challenges us to do it in our own classroom. You can follow @MatthewFarber on Twitter and his blog on Edutopia.


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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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The Cool Cat Teacher Blog
Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere