Playtime Online: Game Changers: How Can Designers Help Teachers Rethink Curriculum?


About This Episode

While educators have terrific ideas when it comes to creating course work that promotes student engagement, they oftentimes need additional support to realize their visions. On Wednesday, February 20, tune in to Playtime Online to discover how a game design studio embedded within a New York City public school is working with educators to create exciting and novel curricula for middle and high school classrooms.

At Quest to Learn, teachers and curriculum specialists are putting their heads together with the game designers from Mission Lab to develop a wide variety of classroom experiences for students. Collectively dubbed a “curriculum team”, they work toward creating more effective and engaging solutions for learning. Catch Playtime Online next Wednesday to hear from one of the curriculum teams at Quest to Learn, and learn about:

-The formation and challenges of Quest to Learn’s Curriculum teams
-The benefits of iterative game-like lesson plans
-Tools for teachers to realize their creative ideas independently

Curriculum Design Pack

Episode Highlights

5:42 What is a curriculum team?
14:40 Turning learning goals into games
“The idea is to create games that can be used multiple  times”
20:15 Games creation process & deciding which learning goals make good games
29:22 Learning from each others’ unique set of skills
34:40 Benefits of iterating games over time
38:33 Resources for teachers
“I think a teacher can call themselves a game designer, as long as you have that open minded willingness to try new things and iterate.”

43:11 How is the schedule administered to allow for two meetings of the curriculum team per week. How do the administrators make room for people to be creative like this and still have people in classrooms?
45:10 I would be more than interested in concrete examples. Are there any video games which explain the process like learning goals, process design of a game, first tries playing and improving, bringing it into the class?
46:43 Has working with this curriculum team changed your approach to teaching?

Hashtag: #playtimers

One Comment

  1. Posted March 13, 2013 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    Could you give me any ideas:
    I am working at a 4th grade level: Olden times in Native American tribes…
    we are exploring 6 different native american tribes…understanding the culture and housing, clothing, beliefs, games, etc….

    Any directions of a possible game?
    thank you so much!
    this was great…

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Rebecca Rufo-Tepper
Rebecca is the Director of Integrated Learning at Institute of Play. She oversees the implementation and ongoing refinement of the Institute’s game-based integrated learning model. Rebecca's research interests center on professional development and school reform.

Brendon Trombley
Brendon is a game design at Quest to Learn's Mission Lab, where he designs game-based learning materials and experiences. On the side, he creates and plays "big" games such as new sports, field games, and street games.

Ross Flatt
Ross is a sixth grade Social Studies teacher at Quest to Learn. He attended Gettysburg College where he earned a Bachelors in History, with a content specialty in World History and a particular focus on Modern Europe.