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How Games Can Be a Centerpiece for Student-Driven Learning

Thursday, May 25, 2017 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT

Presented by Matthew Farber, Ed.D., Social Studies Teacher and Game-Based Learning Author; with Steve Isaacs, Video Game Design and Development Teacher
Hosted by Common Sense Education and Sponsored by Symantec

Watch the Recording

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If—for the most part—phonics workbooks were abandoned in favor of whole-language approaches to reading, why are educational games still honing in on single concepts? Educational technology is often viewed as a tool to support learning, not the focal point of instruction. But games can be different. Games can be the centerpiece of a classroom. Much like studying a novel or analyzing a film, the systems in games can drive instruction around and about it.

In this edWebinar, Matthew Farber, Ed.D., social studies teacher and game-based learning author; and Steve Isaacs, video game design and development teacher, discuss how games can create a shared experience for students, much like a field trip. In their game-based learning classrooms, students study games and then have an opportunity to mod (modify, change) as well as to design their own. In this session, Matthew and Steve:

  • Review concrete examples of games across the curriculum, from humanities to STEM
  • Share free game-design tools and assessment strategies
  • Highlight student choice and voice

Educators and librarians working across all content areas in grades 5 to 12 are encouraged watch to this recorded session. Learn how to move your students from content consumers to media creators!

Matthew FarberAbout the Presenters

Matthew Farber, Ed.D., teaches social studies at Valleyview Middle School in Denville, New Jersey. He holds a doctorate in educational technology leadership from New Jersey City University, where he is an adjunct instructor. He is also a part-time lecturer at Rutgers University. Dr. Farber is the author of the book Gamify Your Classroom: A Field Guide to Game-Based Learning, Revised Edition. He also is an Edutopia blogger, a co-host of Ed Got Game on the BAM! Radio Network, and a BrainPOP Certified Educator. He was a recipient of a Geraldine R. Dodge Teacher Fellowship and a Woodrow Wilson HistoryQuest Fellowship.


Steve Issacs

Steve Isaacs teaches game design and development at William Annin Middle School in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. He is passionate about game-based learning and is one of the founding members of the Games4Ed Initiative as well as a co-founder of the weekly #games4ed Twitter chat. Steve was honored as the 2016 ISTE Outstanding Teacher of the Year as well as the state lead PBS Digital Innovator for 2016–2017. Steve’s work with edtech companies led to the founding of #EdTechBridge, a Twitter chat and online community aimed at helping edtech stakeholders build collaborative relationships to create better edtech products. Through his involvement with a number of edtech organizations, Steve has become a BrainPOP Certified Educator, a Microsoft Innovative Education Expert, a Common Sense Certified EdTech Coach, a Minecraft Global Mentor, and a Minefaire producer. You can follow Steve on Twitter at @mr_isaacs and keep up with his work through his blog.

Join the Digital Learning & Leadership community to network with educators, participate in online discussions, receive invitations to upcoming edWebinars, view past edWebinars, take a quiz to receive a CE certificate for a past edWebinar, and access free resources.

Watch the Recording

common sense educationCommon Sense Education provides teachers and schools with free research-based classroom tools to help students harness technology for learning and life. Our K–12 Digital Citizenship Curriculum and interactive games teach students how to make safe, smart, and ethical decisions in the digital world. And our revolutionary educational rating system, Common Sense Graphite, helps educators discover, use, and share high-quality digital products that propel student learning.


symantecSymantec was founded in 1982 by visionary computer scientists. The company has evolved to become one of the world’s largest software companies with more than 18,500 employees in more than 50 countries. We provide security, storage and systems management solutions to help our customers – from consumers and small businesses to the largest global organizations – secure and manage their information-driven world against more risks at more points, more completely and efficiently than any other company.


Thursday, May 25, 2017
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT
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