WoW in School: Video Games as Arenas for Quest-Based Learning

Presented by Peggy Sheehy, Instructional Technology Facilitator, Suffern Middle School in New York; and Laurence Cocco, Director, Office of Educational Technology, New Jersey Dept. of Education
Co-hosted by and the Education Division of Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA)
Sponsored by BrainPOP and the USC Rossier School of Education

View the webinar “WoW in School”

Are you trying to close the rift between traditional classroom practice and the hyper “click, tap and swipe” learning innate in your students? Even once we grasp the inherent value in these tools, it can be difficult to find connections to the curriculum, classroom management advice, and examples of what the learning looks like.  In this webinar, Laurence Cocco interviews Peggy Sheehy about using WoW in School as an arena for quest-based learning. Peggy tells us about her journey with Lucas Gillispie of Pender County Schools hosting a hybrid, collaborative literacy program using World of Warcraft to engage youth in learning. After one year as an after-school program, their WoW in School project was refined, aligned to national core standards for English language arts (ELA), and introduced into the regular academic day. We hear the steps taken to bring massively multiplayer online games into the classroom and how the “hidden curriculum” in games has provided opportunities for students to master real world skills that often elude traditional leaning environments. Peggy and Laurence also provide practical ideas for leveraging the unique properties of video games for your teaching and a step-by-step protocol to establish a similar program in your school.

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About the Community
Game-Based Learning is a professional learning community (PLC) that provides educators, game developers, researchers, and industry executives with a place to learn, ask questions, discuss topics, and share information about games and learning.

The community hosts free monthly webinars and live chats with leaders in the field that are highly engaging and interactive.  Online discussions provide an easy way to continue the conversation and share ideas and experiences with peers across the country, and around the world.

About the Presenters
Peggy Sheehy is an Instructional Technology Facilitator at Suffern Middle School and Virtual World/Games in Education Consultant.  She has been a public school teacher for fifteen years. She is a fierce advocate for authentic learning with technology and a true pioneer in virtual worlds and games for education. Peggy has presented her work at hundreds of major conferences both in the US and abroad and also has published numerous articles and interviews for educational journals and magazines.

Laurence Cocco is the Director of Educational Technology for the New Jersey Department of Education, with the responsibility of supervising all federal and state educational technology initiatives in that state. Many evenings, he can be found in World of Warcraft (WoW) conversing with fellow members of the educators’ guild Cognitive Dissonance on the educational value of WoW and other games. Laurence also serves as the Chairman of Thirteen/WNET’s Educational Services Advisory Committee ( and is on the Board of Directors for the State Educational Technology Directors Association (