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Board Games, Video Games and Gamification For GT Students

Gamification is the “process of adding game elements or mechanics to an experience” and may include competing groups of students, rewards/points, timed activities or badges. Game-based learning adapts traditional learning experiences with a virtual game framework and provides an authentic real-world context, clear goals, feedback and a high degree of student interaction. ( True game-based learning, aside from online quiz games generally thought to be gamed-based learning, is based on a framework which defines a problem and requires a solution.

Game-based learning engages GT students giving them the opportunity to make decisions about their own learning.  It empowers them to take charge and allows them to take risks in a safe environment where failure doesn’t matter.

Any downside to game-based learning rests on the misunderstanding of what it is and/or poor implementation. GT students know when they’re being ‘played’. It’s important they play a role in deciding what constitutes this type of learning. Game-based learning must be intended as a resource that challenges gifted kids; more than as a source for extrinsic rewards. Professional development is essential which clearly delineates what game-based learning is and what gamification of the current curriculum looks like.

Strategies for introducing game-based learning should consider utilizing GT students to choose the games or even design the games to be used. Gamification of the curriculum should be predicated on the belief that it will enhance learning rather than solely seek to increase classroom engagement. Gifted elementary learners can add their voice in deciding how to do this. Game-based learning should be flexible, promote higher level thinking skills, include enrichment activities that are complex, and cover a wide-ranging interdisciplinary curriculum.

Formative assessments conducted during the learning process can modify teaching and learning activities and they are appealing to GT students who often see themselves as partners in the learning process. The games themselves are the assessment and can be used to teach as well as measure 21st century skills. As a complex problem space, the game actually collects the data and shows if the student is progressing.

Although somewhat passé with younger kids since the advent of Fortnite, Minecraft is still a good option. Familiarity with the game and its popularity outside school appeals to kids; it doesn’t seem like traditional learning. Another upcoming game, RoboCo from Filament, is another good example of a game which will appeal to gifted students. It’s a virtual robotics kit aimed at middle school and high school students that simulates building robots in virtual reality. It’s being partially funded by the NSF grants. A transcript of this chat may be found at Wakelet.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at Noon NZST/10 AM AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

 Lisa Conrad About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at:


How to Create an Interactive Gifted Program

Effects of Technology on Gifted Children

Game-Based Learning: Resource Roundup

Small, Safe Steps for Introducing Games to the Classroom

Cybraryman’s Games Page

Cybraryman’s Games in Education Page

The Power and Promise of Game-Based Learning

Game-Based Learning Is Changing How We Teach. Here’s Why.

How to use game-based learning in the classroom

Digital game-based learning enhances literacy

AUS: Why Gamification is So Important

Gamification vs Game-based Learning: what’s the difference?

The Effect of Game-Based Learning on Students’ Learning Performance in Science Learning – A Case of “Conveyance Go”

From Users to Designers: Building a Self-Organizing Game-Based Learning Environment (pdf)

NZ: Gamification

E-learning for Kids – Is the Future of Education Already Here?

Implicit modeling of learners’ personalities in a game-based learning environment using their gaming behaviors

What’s In a Game? A game-based approach to exploring 21st-century European identity and values

Educational Practices behind Gamification

Why US Classrooms are Starting to Resemble Arcades

Gamification in the Classroom: Small Changes and Big Results [Infographic]

Exciting new approach to classroom learning! (YouTube 8:35)

Filament Games Turns Robotics into Virtual Reality

The Benefits of Game-Based Learning

The Difference between Gamification and Game-Based Learning

Game-Based Learning + Formative Assessment = A Perfect Pair

Cybraryman’s The Brain and Brain Games Page

Cybraryman’s Games and Puzzles Page

Global Education Conference: Game-Based Learning

Why Games?

Lure of the Labyrinth

Dragon Box

The Oregon Trail

Gertrude’s Secrets (Wikipedia)

Image courtesy of Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conard

Finding Value in Video Games


Jane McGonigal: Gaming Can Make a Better World (You Tube)

The Future of Video Games Is Also The Future Of Storytelling

Duke research: Video Games Make Players Smarter

Video Gamers Capture More Information Faster for Visual Decision-making

What Works in Schools Is Real Work

Learning by Designing Games (with useful resources, #GBL)

Back to the drawing board for game making?

GoGo Labs is a Disruptive Learning Technology Lab

Digital Games: A Context for Cognitive Development

Understanding Quest-Based Learning (pdf)

Assessment Matters: Game-Based Learning to Foster Student Engagement

Choice-Based Assessments for the Digital Age (pdf)

Video Games and Social Emotional Learning

Situated Learning in Virtual Worlds and Immersive Simulations (pdf)

What’s the Difference Between Games and Gamification?

Using Educational Games and Gamification

Beyond Badges: Why Gamify? From @edutopia

games-based-learning blog: Games Based School

How Do You Teach Empathy? Harvard Pilots Game Simulation

How Game-Based And Traditional Learning Are Different

3D Game Lab: Online Teacher Camp

games-based-learning blog: 21st Century Skills and Games Based Learning

Video Games In Learning? These 50 Videos Explain What’s Possible

TEDxManitoba – Rick Van Eck – The Gaming of Educational Transformation (video)

Classroom Game Design: Paul Andersen at TEDxBozeman (video)

7 Skills Students Need for Their Future (video)

Can Digital Games Boost Students’ Test Scores?

Research on Assessment in Games

Teachers, Students, Digital Games: What’s the Right Mix?

Center for Game Science

The Radix Endeavor

Motivating Children to Learn Effectively: Exploring Value of Intrinsic Integration in Educational Games (pdf)

New Survey: Half of Teachers Use Digital Games in Class

Money, Time and Tactics: Can Games Be Effective in Schools?

Playful Learning

The School Where Learning is a Game

Institute of Play Quest Schools

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