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Page history last edited by li9@ucalgary.ca 12 years, 8 months ago


What is Game-Based Learning? 

  •  learning approach that incorporates the use of educational computer games or software programs. 

  •  can also refer to non-digital game activities used to engage, focus, and motivate learners during lessons.


 Who is doing this?  

  • Marc Prensky is an internationally acclaimed speaker, writer, consultant, visionary and innovator in the field of education and learning. 
  • Dr. Prensky is the founder and Creative Director of Spree Games, the founder and CEO of Games2train (whose clients include IBM, Nokia, Pfizer, the US Department of Defense and the L.A. and Florida Virtual Schools) and creator of the sites DoD Game Community and Social Impact Games.
  • He has created over 50 software games for learning, including the world’s first fast-action videogame-based training tools and world-wide, multi-player, multi-team on-line competitions. He has also taught at all levels. Marc has been featured in articles in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, PBS, and the BBC, and was named as one of training’s top 10 “visionaries” by Training magazine. He holds graduate degrees from Yale (Teaching) and Harvard (MBA).
  •  Dr. Prensky's game services revolve around making learning more engaging and effective for today’s “Digital Native” youth.  His game services include:
    • Consulting to organizations and teams building educational games
    • Designing and building custom educational games for schools and businesses
    • Licensing pre-built games and educational templates


  • Born in Germany, Yasmin Kafai undertook her studies on learning theories and technologies in France, Germany and the United States. She received her doctorate from Harvard University in 1993 while working with Seymour Papert and Idit Harel at the MIT Media Laboratory.
  • Dr. Kafai is Associate Professor of Learning and Instruction at the UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies.  She lives, works, and plays in Los Angeles. 
  • She has been one of the first researchers to establish the field of game studies with her work on children’s learning as designers and players of educational software and games. Her research has been published in  Minds in Play: Computer Game Design as a Context for Children’s Learning (Lawrence Erlbaum Publishers, 1995) and inConstructionism in Practice: Designing, Thinking and Learning in a Digital World which she co-edited with Mitchel Resnick (Lawrence Erlbaum Publishers, 1996).Her research has been and is being supported by the National Science Foundation and the Spencer Foundation. In 1996, she was one of two educators to receive an Early Career Award from the National Science Foundation and in 1997 she was among the thirty postdoctoral fellows of the National Academy of Education.
  •  During the past decade, she has been active in several national policy efforts. She directed the research for the report Under the Microscope: A Decade of Gender Equity Interventions in the Sciences (2004) and participated in the National Commission on Gender, Technology and Teaching that Tech-Savvy Girls: Educating Girls in the Computer Age (American Association of University Women, 2000). She briefed the Telecommunication and Computer Science Board for the report Being Fluent with Information Technology (National Academy of Sciences, 1999) and has helped define national research agendas for research about children’s media with the Center for Media Education (1998) and a related effort from the Markle Foundation.
  •  She is the president-elect of the International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS) and an Associate Editor of the Journal of the Learning Sciences. She organized and co-chaired the Sixth International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS) in 2004 at UCLA. She also participates in and presents at numerous other national and international venues such as Interaction Design for Children (IDC), American Educational Research Association (AERA), Computer Supported for Collaborative Learning (CSCL), Siggraph, DIGRA and others.



  • Simon Egenfeldt-Nielsen, founded Serious Games Interactive in 2006. His PhD was based on the educational use of computer games. Having researched and worked with games for mare than 10 years, Simon regularly gives talks around the world.


  • Maja Pivec, Ph.D, is professor of Game Based Learning and Learning with Multimedia at the University of Applied Sciences FH JOANNEUM in Graz, Austria. For her research achievements Maja Pivec received in the year 2001 Herta Firnberg Award (Austria) in the field of computer science. In the 2003 she was awarded by European Science Foundation in form of a grant for an interdisciplinary workshop organisation in the field of affective and emotional aspects of human-computer interaction, with emphasis on game-based learning and innovative learning approaches.
  • She is co-ordinator, scientific leader or partner in several EU or national founded projects. She is editor and co-editor of three book publications in the area of innovative learning approaches. She is guest editor of British Journal of Educational Technology, Special issue on learning from games, May 2007. She was hosting European Conference on Game-Based Learning in 2009. Her research work is published and presented at more than 90 international conferences and publications.


  • Adrian Hall is an independent consultant with a respected profile in the use of mobile, game and social media technologies for learning. Prior to this Adrian held the position with Steljes Limited, one of the UK’s leading technology integration companies, is to develop thought leadership around the use of technology in education. He has worked on the Project Inkwell Group, an American based international think tank/lobby group for one to one access to technology for children.
  • Prior to this, Adrian worked for the UK’s Department of Education and Skills as a senior policy advisor on educational software. His responsibilities included developing the government’s policy in relation to the educational software industry, commissioning new and innovative curriculum software, including software to work on mobile devices, and developing thinking on the use of games in education.  Prior to this Adrian worked as an Archaeologist.


  • Chris Deering, Former Chairman and President of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. Chris has led multicultural motion picture video and computer game publishing for nearly 3 decades, starting with his role as international marketing head at the original Atari in 1982, and as VP -International for Spinnaker educational software.
  • He was COO of Columbia Tristar International Video for 7 years and headed Sony Computer Entertainment in PAL countries from 1995-2005. Now in "retirement", he chairs the Edinburgh Interactive Festival. Codemasters Games, and serves on several boards, including Handheld Learning Ltd as non exec Chairman.


  • Derek began his teaching career in Dundee in 1994. During his time in class he witnessed two boys, who were in his lower ability maths group, engaging with a complex problem-solving environment on the Super Nintendo console. He was astonished at how they engaged with the problems, how they were challenged by them and how they used their own suite of strategies to solve the problems in order to be successful at the game. Derek noted that this behaviour did not happen in the traditional maths setting and it made him reflect on the context of the game and why it facilitated such impressive abilities in children who had not shown it in the world of learning that they were expected to engage with in class. This chance observation gave birth to Derek’s interest and passion for games based learning.
  • Two years as an ICT staff tutor in Dundee City Council was followed by a position as a lecturer on the B.Ed(P) and PGDE(P) courses at the University of Dundee. This position allowed him to establish games based learning as a topic of study for his teaching students and then to his successful application to lead games based learning initiatives for Learning and Teaching Scotland via the Consolarium. Derek is now partnering local authorities and teachers throughout Scotland to explore the impact of computer games in the classroom and is contributing to the growing body of work that is helping to change the discourse about the position and practical application of games based learning in classrooms.


  • Karl Royle is Principal Lecturer for Curriculum Innovation and Knowledge Transfer at the Centre for Developmental and Applied Research in Education (CeDARE), University of Wolverhampton where he works as a research project director. Karl has considerable experience of project management and materials development for both screen and print-based media and has a background in teacher education, professional development and education management.His current interests are around the development of thinking skills in game based learning and the skills habits and affordances of ubiquitous technology and its transfer to educational contexts. He is particularly interested in the effects on pedagogy of learners’ digital engagement.


  • James Gee is a researcher who has worked in psycholinguistics, discourse analysis, sociolinguistics, bilingual education, and literacy. Gee is currently the Mary Lou Fulton Presidential Professor of Literacy Studies at Arizona State University. Gee is a faculty affiliate of the Games, Learning, and Society group at the University of Wisconsin- Madison and is a member of the National Academy of Education.
  • More recently, Gee's work has focused on the learning principles in video games and how these learning principles can be applied to the K-12 classroom. Video games, when they are successful, are very good at challenging players. They motivate players to persevere and simultaneously teach players how to play. Gee began his work in video games by identifying thirty-six learning principles that are present in - but not exclusive to - the design of good video games.

How does it work? 



How does it work in Second Language Teaching?

Online Vocabulary Games







Language Arts Gameshttp://www.sheppardsoftware.com/web_games_vocab.htm



Game Zone-online English Language Games http://www.english-online.org.uk/games/gamezone2.htm




Free ESL Fun Games & Interactive Exercises Online  http://www.eslgamesworld.com/Games.html



Online Educational Word Games




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