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

The Every Classroom Matters Show: Matthew Farber, Expert on Gaming in the Classroom

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.

Listen to ECM #144 with Matthew Farber

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.

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!

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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