Making School a Game Worth Playing
Digital Games in the Classroom
- Ryan Schaaf - Notre Dame of Maryland University
- Nicky Mohan - The InfoSavvy21 Group
Introduction by Jason Ohler
Integrate game-based learning for 21st Century skills success!
Kids today live in a digitally connected world. Prepare your students for the new global economy by leveraging the technology they love and understand best. This straightforward, easy-to-follow guide helps you build essential 21st Century skills using digital video games. Ryan Schaaf and Nicky Mohan provide a cutting-edge, research-based approach - built around time-honored instructional practices. Step-by-step strategies help you easily find, evaluate, and integrate digital games into your existing lesson plans or completely redesign your classroom.
This practical guide helps teachers use well-designed game elements to:
- Promote meaningful student buy-in
- Create student-centered, collaborative learning spaces
- Teach and assess 21st Century Fluencies aligned to Common Core State Standards
- Address multiple intelligences using research-based strategies
Includes a detailed implementation outline, a revised Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy oriented to game content, summarized notes, and a reading list for engaged, adventure-filled learning!
“This book is easy to read, offers strategies that are easy to implement, and inspires a sense of urgency for educators to modify our teaching techniques to include more gaming in our classrooms. It is useful for teachers of all experience levels.”
—Carrie Trudden, Educational Technology Teacher
Howard County Public School System, Clarksville, MD
“Schaaf and Mohan present gamification as a powerful tool for engaging learners and for the development of 21st-century fluencies, organized in levels as in the games it describes. This book is rich in resources for finding, evaluating, implementing, and designing classroom games.”
—Danea A. Farley, Associate Professor and Coordinator of Technology
Notre Dame of MD University
“This book is easy to read, offers strategies that are easy to implement, and inspires a sense of urgency for educators to modify our teaching techniques to include more gaming in our classrooms. It is an insightful look at gamification and increasing student engagement in the classroom. It is useful for teachers of all experience levels.”
“This book presents gamification as a powerful tool for engaging learners and for the development of 21st-century fluencies, organized in levels as in the games it describes. Rich in resources for finding, evaluating, implementing, and designing classroom games, Schaaf and Mohan’s book shares game thinking as a global approach to learning, flavored with a hint of his own personal game nostalgia. A must-read for those exploring the use of games in the classroom!”
"Integrating the fundamentals of gaming into the classroom may seem like a daunting task, but this book clearly explains how the students of today are learning and how educators can leverage a powerful media phenomenon for fun and engaging learning. Making School a Game Worth Playing clearly establishes that digital games teach students the 21st-centur y skills they need to develop for a successful future in a globalized world. Social, creative, collaborative, and problem solving skills are cleverly linked to digital games throughout the text. It is easy to follow and written from the perspective of a teacher.”
“Effective and strategic integration of technology into teaching and learning will produce students who demonstrate proficiency in 21st-century skills. It’s critical that education moves from a teacher-centered to a more student-centered approach to instruction. Digital game-based learning helps change the role of the teacher into a facilitator. This book not only provides ideas on how to overcome the barriers that schools are faced with when approaching this concept, but also provides teachers with authentic ideas on how to bring digital gaming concepts into their classrooms. The text is easy to read and offers many practical applications for our teachers and district leaders. This is a ‘game-changer’ for our professional development program!”
“Back in 2004, Pat Kane told us in his book The Play Ethic that organizations that base themselves on play and not work are healthier and more productive workplaces. Now Schaaf and Mohan have contextualized this idea for education around the use and creation of digital games. The key concept behind these books is that, in play, we are intrinsically motivated. In work, we just might not be. As they carefully explain, elements of all the things we aspire to in good education can be found in good digital games: Differentiation across a wide degree of ability, providing instant feedback, and allowing learners to level up as quickly as they acquire new skills and rewarding success.
“Traditionally, education has been hard to move and resistant to change. I am guessing that if you are reading this book you are not that way inclined. Your challenge is to grasp the grail of these ideas and hit the ground running with your students.”
“As video games continue to captivate both children and adults around the world, Ryan Schaaf provides compelling evidence for playing digital games in schools to present academic content and develop essential 21st-century skills. This book goes beyond research and theory to illustrate how teachers can find, evaluate, and integrate digital games with classroom instruction to challenge and present content information in a fun and engaging manner.
“Chapters on how to play games; how games influence 21st-century fluencies; how to find, evaluate, and integrate games; and how to create your own games give teachers a wealth of resources for playing video games in schools and making learning fun at all levels of education. I particularly liked the ‘level’ on the gamification of learning, which gave me great new insights into how to engage learners without the use of video games per se, by leveraging key principles of game-based learning.
“I highly recommend this book for educators across all levels and disciplines. I think it covers the skills and knowledge necessary for novice gamers to integrate the use of video games into their classrooms to facilitate learning, as well as giving experienced gamers a fresh look at the field of game-based learning.”