Games Based Learning

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Donald Brinkman

I manage games for learning and digital humanities programs for Microsoft Research. Projects I support include Just Press Play (play.rit.edu), Reality Ends Here (reality.usc.edu), ChronoZoom (chronozoomproject.org) and Open Badges (openbadges.org)

When not managing programs, I am a writer, painter, and game designer.

The best way for students to learn, is to experience; to be faced with an authentic situation, to make decisions, to face the consequences of those decisions and to react under pressure.

Perhaps that all sounds a bit serious?

Well not if they’re playing a computer game.

Digital games test students’ understanding, reactions and knowledge as they navigate through real world situations.

Risk-free rewards for students at any level with research-proven results.

Latest posts
Andrew DeBerry
Games Based Learning Terrific Gamification infographic From Carmen Sandiego to Sim City to Minecraft - this is a great graphic for gaming enthusiasts! ...
Jackie Baptist
Games Based Learning Using Kodu in the classroom, learn from our teacher in Ireland Barry Corrigan uses Kodu in his classroom. ...
David Hamlett
Games Based Learning Inspiring Student Learning and Creativity through Gaming. Global Forum Panel Discussion The hot topic panel at the Global Forum bought together 4 educators with significant experience in using games and gaming to enhance teaching and learning: Simon Breakspear, Doug Bergman, Kiril Rusev and Shafaque Riaz. The panel was moderated by Mark Sparvel. Discussions and questions all seemed to have a common element: Is gaming a time waster or critical learning tool? As gaming can undoubtedly be both teachers need to be skilful in their knowledge of how to incorporate gaming into their ...
José Carlos Marques
Games Based Learning Kodu in the classroom - A Special Needs Children Experience One of the major concerns of teachers, on this days, should be the implementation of educational activities that promote the success of students. The need to create tasks that try to involve student’s interests and knowledge development necessarily, implies that teachers involve students, in their learning process, and to effectively implement the resources we consider to be an asset in the development of learning and cognitive skills. In this context, in the last academic year, I decided to ...
Nicki Cooper
Games Based Learning The UK Kodu Kup After my won an award at the last Global Forum in Prague I continued to build on this, alongside the UK PiL Manager, to introduce the Kodu Kup to the UK. This is a national game creation competition aimed at all children in the UK aged between 7 and 14. Last year’s competition impacted on 70,000 children across the country, it was a HUGE success and even won a BETT award back in January, just as we launched this year’s competition. The Kodu Kup runs for 5 months in which students plan and ...
Jackie Baptist
Games Based Learning Inspiring Student Learning and Creativity through Gaming. Mar 12th at 5:00pm, room 111/112 @ the Microsoft Global Forum in Barcelona. To learn more about the forum please use this link As the world of education rapidly changes, the need for technology-enabled classrooms becomes increasingly important. There is also a demand for learning technology that not only engages students and but also helps change student outcomes. A well-designed game can achieve specific learning goals that result in a workforce of highly-motivated learners who avidly engage and apply problem-solving skills. In this panel discussion, industry experts...
David Renton
Games Based Learning Games Development the ideal cross-curricular topic I spent over 10 years as a software engineer in industry, working mainly on database systems and in that time I never once used Physics and very rarely used Maths. However when I started teaching Games Development around 7 years ago, I finally started to use both Maths and Physics and it quickly dawned on me that Games Development would be an ideal way to engage students in Maths & Physics. Around 3 years ago (2010-2011) Curriculum for Excellence came into schools in Scotland and was implemented...
Md. Abdur Rahaman
Games Based Learning Games and sports is the part of Education Without having games learning can not be enjoyed. Regards. Md. Abdur Rahaman FAMS International School And College Bangladesh....
Doug Bergman
Games Based Learning Making games vs playing games I certainly believe games and gaming can be an integral part of education. But, I'd like to challenge us to take it one step further. Let the kids make their own games. We need to find ways to bring Computer Science into education anyway, so it's win win. Games can be created around any content area, so teachers in all disciplines who want to connect with their students can explore this. Their are so many options, all free and many webbased. And kids can figure most of the code themselves. And ...
Sian Ladley
Games Based Learning 5 Questions to Ask When Considering Games Based Learning Games can be a powerful tool to teach a myriad of things, from curriculum matter to soft, 21st century skills such as problem-solving and collaboration. However, they are not always appropriate. These questions may help you decide whether games are right for you: Will using a game bring anything to the table? – Don’t use games for the sake of it. If the game adds nothing, or if other methods are superior, don’t use them. However, if the game teaches at the same level, go for it! It will have...
Sian Ladley
Games Based Learning Games Based Learning With Zoo Tycoon The latest chapter of , developed by Frontier Developments and published by Microsoft Studios, has recently become available for Xbox One and Xbox 360. The game puts you in charge of a zoo. You build it up, care for animals, hire and fire staff, keep guests happy, release endangered animals into the wild and more. It is a fantastic entertainment game, but it also has educational merits. I have split these into three broad categories: Animals, Business and Soft Skills. Animals The game is ...
Sian Ladley
Games Based Learning Games Based Learning and 21st Century Skills There are many characterisations of the skills that are most important in the 21st century. However, The University of Melbourne’s Assessment and Teaching of 21st Century Skills (ATC21S) team defines them as: Ways of thinking. Creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving, decision-making and learning Ways of working. Communication and collaboration Tools for working. Information and communications technology (ICT) and information literacy Skills for living in the world. Citizenship, life ...
Sian Ladley
Games Based Learning Building a 21st Century Education System with Games Based Learning It won’t be news to most that the current education system has changed little since the Industrial Age, when the system was used to mass produce workers for factories. It is an extremely efficient, almost Fordist system. But the world has changed a lot since then. Games Based Learning could help bring the education system into the 21st century as well as skilling up children in a way appropriate to the world they live in. In terms of equipping our youngest generation with the skills necessary to ...
Kalpana Manivannan
Games Based Learning Changing Scenario in today's learning environment & Need for game based learning In today's scenario, the challenge lies in keeping students motivated and interested in the lessons they learn. It is an unenviable task to capture the attention of today's learners. It is now more than ever, that we feel the need to take our teaching methodology to the next level by incorporating interesting content, relevant PPT's, educational games and modules. Game based learning also helps us train our students to think out-of-the-box, ponder and question the already existing facts without...
João Cunha
Games Based Learning Hands-on Robots "... Leadership tomorrow depends on how we educate our students today—especially in science, technology, engineering and math." Hands-on Robots is a project developed by primary and secondary schools from the north of Portugal. This project promotes a pedagogical approach that will motivate students to have an active role in the learning of science and technology subjects. The teachers and students involved in this project have participated in robotic events such as RoboParty, “National ...
Matthew Farber
Games Based Learning Game Design Thinking and Creative Confidence Video games are not just coded, but are designed with the player in mind. Game designer Jesse Schell states that the player’s experience is paramount. That is why games are playtested. Perhaps no other business or media applies behavioral psychology to the user experience better than game design. One innovative design company is IDEO. This Silicon Valley company is a leader of product reinvention, from mobile apps to shopping store layouts. The founder, David Kelley, and his brother, Tom ...
Shafaque Riaz
Games Based Learning Motivation and Engagement, important factors of Game based learning environment As educator, our responsibility is to create surroundings where students are intrinsically motivated to learn as efficiently and enjoyably as possible. Bruner (1966) has suggested the model of instruction where he emphasized on the pacing of rewards and punishment. Careful pacing of rewards and punishments enforce learning. Bruner’s pacing is mirrored in digital game based learning to a larger extent where there is structure of awards while achieving different level of challenges and punishment...
Marylina Torres
Games Based Learning El juego es cosa seria. “No por ser un juego, la actividad lúdica deja de tener enorme importancia para la psicología del niño” Henri Wallon. Para el niño el juego es algo natural, es la esencia de la vida de un niño y por medio del mismo podemos conectar valores y aprendizajes. Pero...¿es válido solamente para el niño? ¡Nosotros también podemos jugar! Para el niño es un verdadero trabajo, el adulto debe aprender a hacer del trabajo un verdadero juego. Mientras el niño se interesa por explorar los efectos de su actividad los adultos nos apuramos por que desaparezcan. De éste modo le quitamos al niño la posibilidad de investigar. Si ...
Terry Heick
Games Based Learning What The Crafting Movement In Video Games Implies What The Crafting Movement In Video Games Implies by Terry Heick, Crafting in video games is an important trend that may indicate the future of not just video games, but how we approach digital technology. Take a game like Skyrim for example. In Skyrim, players can collect seasonings, foods, flowers, insect parts, and scores of other fundamental ingredients that can then be combined to produce something new. Not just anything can be combined, however. Certain products--potions, for example, ...
Matthew Farber
Games Based Learning Quest to Learn & the Institute of Play I spent the day last summer observing new teacher professional development (PD) at Quest 2 Learn (Q2L) in New York City. The school was founded by Katie Salen (co-author of Rules of Play). She also founded Institute of Play, which runs GlassLabs (create of SimCityEDU). Q2L's PD was not too different from other school's, except that game designers are mashed up with teachers on curriculum planning. It bears many similarities with problem-based learning, UbD, and essential questions. Rather ...
Terry Heick
Games Based Learning One Day, We Won't Have To Justify Teaching With Video Games The Looming Credibility Of Game-Based Learning by Terry Heick, Fire and ice. Texting and driving. Video games and learning. That's the commonly-held perception anyway--and it's powerful. For decades now, the connotation of video games has been skewed juvenile. It didn't help that they were thrust into the pubic consciousness by kid-friendly arcades and Mario back in the 1980s. First impressions being what they are, here in (almost) 2014 educators still struggle to articulate the ...
Matthew Farber
Games Based Learning Using Assassin's Creed II to Teach the Renaissance Last spring I constructed a project-based lesson (PBL) titled The Assassin's Creed: Renaissance Character Web Project. This PBL is framed around creating additional Renaissance-era characters to further integrate into the video game series via downloadable content. The students were asked, “what if Ubisoft decided to integrate other real Renaissance figures as characters in the game?” The unit was tied to historical fiction, which makes history more “real” and relatable to middle school ...
Daniel Donahoo
Games Based Learning Consoles in the Classroom: Rich Game-Based Learning with Disney Infinity & xBox While computers have hovered in the corners of classrooms, and teachers have gradually found ways to incorporate them more into learning and not just reward, and there is an explosion of tablets in classrooms - the console is still not well regarded as a learning tool. Yet, in Australia there is a little project that has begun to explore the value of consoles for engagement and learning using xBox and the new Disney Infinity line. Infinity Learning is going into classrooms with 10-12 year olds...
Matthew Farber
Games Based Learning Iteration, or How I Can Do This Better At the beginning of this school year, I taught my middle school social studies students a new vocabulary word: iteration. I began a discussion by asking, "Is Microsoft was implying that the Xbox 360 was an epic fail since the Xbox One is about to be released? Is Apple saying iOS 6 is a flop when the 7th version – or iteration – is released?" The answer is, of course not. Hardware, operating systems, apps, and games, all have sequels that try to improve on the previous release. My students ...
Jackie Baptist
Games Based Learning Terrific article in Edtech K12 - What Kinect for Xbox 360 Can Teach Students About Collaboration Please check out this terrific article in Edtech K12 by Cheryl Arnett. What Kinect for Xbox 360 Can Teach Students About Collaboration The console’s “Disneyland Adventures” game does far more than transport students to the theme park. Subject Area: This lesson was designed for first- and second-grade students (but can be adapted for other grade levels) to create learning opportunities in math, literacy, geography, collaboration, research and personal financial literacy. Are you using XBOX...
Desislava Milenkova
Games Based Learning Game-based learning and Kinect - Jumpido Children perceive and remember information emotionally. When kids experience positive emotions, they are more engaged in the learning process and retain information longer. Furthermore, positive emotions are associated with fun. Teachers can transform anything that is fun for children in games. Thus lecturers can establish objectives and game rules to be used in the classroom. Games make students active participants in the learning process, while the pursuit of victory motivates the pupils to ...
Muhammad Adeel Javaid
Games Based Learning The Benefits of Game Based Learning Games have high presence in non-formal and informal segments of learning. Unfortunately, in formal education games are still often seen just as non-serious activity and the potentials of games for learning stay undiscovered. How to design effective learning opportunities? Why is learning by experience often more efficient than learning by studying? How to provide the learning experiences needed to respond to current challenges? Using computer games and games in general for learning purposes ...
Ray Chambers
Games Based Learning Computer Science and Games Based Learning Touch Develop Recently in the UK the curriculum has been changing. In ICT a lot of the changes are moving towards getting students to start computer programming rather than word processing and the analysis of presentation. The government would like students to start building applications and they would like them to understand how the computer works. Many of the changes are worrying for some teachers due to their background in business or alternatives. I recently got a bunch of students together...
Kevin Hoang
Games Based Learning Game Based Learning Video with Donald Brinkman Donald Brickman- Program Manager at Microsoft Research - Game base learning means a lot of things and there are a lot of misconceptions such as it being a new thing (game base learning goes back to Roman times) and games being somehow different from learning. Modern games are very well design to motivate and engage people in many different levels. In school, when you get an F, there is a sense of finality to it but in a game, when you see the words “game over”, it typically makes you want to ...
Ray Chambers
Games Based Learning Games Based Learning - Practice and Results Games Based Learning - Impact On Progress There are many people our there that believe in the impact of games based learning, there are also many who do not believe in it. Many would like proof of the impact on learning and the impact on education. Last year during a period of 6 to 8 weeks, I decided to create a project which was solely based on the use of the Xbox and the Kinect in my lessons. The Kinect Olympics The Olympics were a popular topic due to the UK hosting them. Many people in ...
Azhar Youssef
Games Based Learning Simple Tips to Gamify Your Classrooms Gamification is a new term that has recently gained more attention in the of education. When I first saw this term among Coursera online courses, a couple of questions came to mind: Is it similar to the game-based learning? Does it mean playing games to achieve some learning objectives? To answer these questions, I decided to take this course by Prof. Kevin Werbach offered by University of Pennsylvania. Here is what I found: What is Gamification? It is applying game mechanics,e.g., points, ...
Todd LaVogue
Games Based Learning Games Based Learning – Games Create Real World Issues to Collaborate and Solve My school year just ended. As I reflected on another whirlwind year at an inner-city Title 1 public school, I was struck on how gaming in the classroom took a bigger role. As a Title 1 school, over 80% of my students qualify for free and/or reduced lunch. In truth almost 95% of my students face serious socio-economic disadvantages. The daily challenge becomes how to properly engage students who are facing much larger issues like proper food, clothing and shelter. These are the most basic of ...
Simon Johnson
Games Based Learning Games based learning - Beyond the theory It is well documented how playing games can facilitate collaborative learning, promote problem solving and engage students. So, where do you start and how can you use games to support teaching and learning? Games that generate data e.g. Kinect Sports and Kinect Joy Ride are great for teaching Maths and Statistics. Games that tell a story are great for developing creative writing. Puzzle games can develop problem solving and and physics based games such as Angry Birds can be used to explain ...
Donald Brinkman
Games Based Learning The Education Revolution Will Not Be (Entirely) Computerized Imagine games in the classroom. What comes to mind? These days, the most likely answer is some form of digital game, perhaps an online game, a Kinect game, or something on an iPad. There are hundreds of educational games available on these platforms and they are used in classrooms around the world every day. In the 21st century digital games are without a doubt a Big Thing. But, are they the Right Thing? Digital games have many strengths. They can deliver engaging experiences to students that ...
Kelly  Walsh
Games Based Learning Research Findings Support the Incorporation of Games and Gaming Techniques in Education Late last year I read an interesting article about, "". It contained many interesting references to studies and research that indicated positive results from the use of gaming in an educational setting. Following are a few of those findings. Play-based learning increases children’s attention span: In done by the Australian Journal of Educational and Developmental Psychology, researchers took a close look at how teacher’s beliefs regarding early education influence the classroom environment. ...
Donald Brinkman
Games Based Learning Frames within frames: An eternal meta-metagame Chapter the fourth, wherein Donald goes outside the classroom, finds a frame around the classroom, then posits the existence of another frame around the frame. The vast majority of educational games are meant to be played in the classroom. This might seem obvious but it isn't the only way to do it. As I mentioned in my last post, it is possible and sometimes optimal to wrap the game around the classroom. One such example is the game that is being played right now at the School of Cinematic ...
Maria Loizou Raouna
Games Based Learning Games in a multiplication lesson! I just need to share with you a short video developed last year by my 3rd graders, in order to show how games can really enhance the learning process, especially when it comes to Maths. In the specific video, you can view how multiplication can be easily practised by young students and many of the benefits that are realized. ...
Allisyn Levy
Games Based Learning Weaving Literacy and Assessment into Game-Based Learning For a long time, I was on a hunt for an amazing English Language Arts game that tied into curriculum and the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). A big part of my role at BrainPOP® is vetting games for , our online games portal. I focus a lot on working with teachers and students to play-test new games and features so we can shape our offerings to meet our audience's needs. For months my search continued, and for every huge handful of games we saw, only one or two were really gems. We did ...
Andrew Miller
Games Based Learning It Might Not Be a Great Game! Tips for Finding a Quality Game! Oftentimes, I see many, many tweets that claim this title or variation thereof: “10 Best Games to Teach Math.” Because I am a GBL nerd, I always click on the link and explore. In my exploration of many of these tools that claim to be games, I have found that many in fact are NOT games, or they are poor games. Games are crafted specifically, with certain mechanics and components present for it to be good. Many companies are putting out “games” that are in fact activities with many “bells and ...
Cheryl Arnett
Games Based Learning Virtual Vs. Reality... If you want the attention of 7 and 8 year old boys, just mention Angry Birds! My young students have been obsessed with the virtual world for over a year. Our curriculum includes a science unit on force and motion. How better to engage and inspire than to make use of the video game in the lessons. While gathering ideas, I turned to the ever-popular Pinterest and discovered two wonderful ways to begin. Simple to make and will provide a situation for applying the scientific method in reality. ...