Playtime Online: What Can Game Designers Do For Students In Schools?


About This Episode

In our first episode ever of the Playtime Online webinar series, the game designers at Mission Lab reflected on the challenges and value of game-like learning experiences in the classroom.

Now more than ever, policy makers, parents, educators and others are exploring possibilities to improve student learning. For the past 4 years, game designers at Mission Lab within Quest to Learn have been closely collaborating with teachers, designing, play-testing, and producing game-like curricula, games and other materials to maximize learning for students.

In this Playtime Online session, Mission Lab designers and curriculum specialists discussed game-like learning experiences at Quest Schools, emphasizing the value games and game-like materials add in the classroom and the powerful effect that these materials have on student learning. Also touched on was the experience of bringing their professional skills to bear within an unique collaborative environment.

Episode Highlights

2:55 What is a game-like learning experience?
3:50 Brendon discusses Block Talk
12:45 Grant and John discuss their Portal puzzle-maker
27:45 Shula discusses Input/Output

36:15 I work at a summer day camp and we’re interested in incorporating game design into our program. In what ways can we adopt strategies for in-school learning and apply them to children at camp?
39:25 How do you plan to embed making art into the curriculum?
40:20 What kinds of activities would you recommend for a teacher who is just getting started with introducing games and gaming into her classroom?
44:35 How do the games you’ve described fit into a longer, larger trajectory of game-like learning?
48:05 Is there an age limit for kids to use gamified learning technologies in schools? Maybe at some age it’s better to move to lectures and some classic way of teaching?
52:00 Do you think there is a place for games in the curriculum for those with learning disabilities? If so, could those games have a rehabilitative aspect to them?
54:15 Can any of you speak to the use of Badges to motivate kids to learning?

Games discussed: Block Talk, “Portal” puzzle-maker, Input/Output

One Comment

  1. Rachel
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    It’s exciting to see that engaging games can be created out of software so simple as a spreadsheet. Is there any documentation available for teachers who are interested in making and incorporating these types of games in their lessons?

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Arana Shapiro is Co-Director of Quest to Learn, responsible for the continued evolution and refinement of the first instance of the Quest learning model.

Brendon Trombley 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.

Grant Tumen is a game designer at ChicagoQuest's Mission Lab, where he designs analog and digital game-based learning materials and experiences. In his free time he enjoys creating test chambers in Portal 2's map editor.

John Murphy is a game designer at ChicagoQuest's Mission Lab, where he designs game-based learning materials and experiences. When not at CQ, he designs games for Young Horses, an indie game studio that he co-founded.

Shulamit Ponet is a game designer at Quest to Learn's Mission Lab, where she designs game-based learning materials and experiences. When not at Quest, she can be found designing and playing location based games and running races throughout NYC.