Ben Betts, How to Make Game-based Learning Work for You : Learning Technologies (2013)
Games are addictive. But so are many things that aren’t necessarily good for learning. Still, argues Ben Betts, learning and games work well together, and the research shows it. The question here is how to make it work for you. Not all games and certainly not all technologies will work everywhere. Which approach will work for you and what can you do to ensure you get buy-in without spending too much or going down a blind alley?
Games for learning have been shown to be effective in academic studies stretching back over the last 30 years. Advocates suggest that games create higher-order learning experiences that more thoroughly engage participants in the attainment of learning objectives. However, just because we could use games for learning, doesn’t mean we always should. Failures can be spectacular and expensive. Join Ben Betts in this highly practical round table discussion on the topic of digital games for workplace learning. Ben specializes in the design and development of game-based learning, with a particular focus on social games that take place outside of a 3D virtual environment. The conversation will be shaped by the participants, but we will touch on areas such as:
Is game-based learning destined to sit on the periphery of digital learning?
What does the research say about using games for learning?
What different types of digital games for learning?
What’s the real cost of making a game for learning?
Does Gamification have any place in the game-based learning landscape?

Is Minecraft the Ultimate Educational Tool? (2013 PBS)
If you’ve watched past episodes of Idea Channel, you know we’re huge fans of Minecraft. This totally amazing video game allows you to build your own world from scratch, what’s not to like?!?! But it may be good for more than just fun and games. Some experts have brought Minecraft into the classroom, allowing teachers to customize lessons and students to engage with concepts in new ways. And while educational games aren’t new, Minecraft has some unique advantages that could usher in a new direction in education. In the future, students across the world may spend their class time punching trees.

Daphne Bavelier: Your brain on video games (2012 TED)
How do fast-paced video games affect the brain? Step into the lab with cognitive researcher Daphne Bavelier to hear surprising news about brain research and how video games, even action-packed shooter games, can help us learn, focus and, fascinatingly, multitask.

Classroom Game Design: Paul Andersen (2012 TED)
Paul Andersen has been teaching science in Montana for the last eighteen years. He explains how he is using elements of game design to improve learning in his AP Biology classroom. Paul’s science videos have been viewed millions of times by students around the world. He was the 2011 Montana Teacher of the Year and he is currently a science teacher at Bozeman High School. For more information on Paul’s work visit
Paul Andersen has been teaching high school science in Montana for the last seventeen years. He has been teaching science on YouTube for the last three years. Paul began his career teaching all the science classes at a small rural school in northern Montana. Paul is currently an AP Biology teacher and technology mentor at Bozeman High School. Paul uses technology and game mechanics to increase engagement in his classroom. Paul is the 2011 Montana Teacher of the Year and was one of four finalists for National Teacher of the Year.

Game-Based Learning in Higher Education (2012)
On March 9, 2012 the USC Center for Excellence in Teaching in conjunction with the Center for Scholarly Technology presented a faculty forum on Game-based Learning in Higher-Education. An exceptional presentation was given by Provost Professor and world-renowned game scholar Henry Jenkins, Director of the Institute for Multimedia Literacy, Holly Willis, and Cinematic Arts Undergraduate student Allison Tate-Cortese that spawned a thoughtful and engaging discussion. In this overview, event moderator Geoff Middlebrook explains the context of the event and provides information to inspire your thinking about game-based learning.