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10 Brilliant Game-Based Learning TED Talks

Filament Games | Educational Game Developer

TED Talks, like a memorable course or lesson, have the power to motivate, engage, and inspire viewers. Today, we’re highlighting some of our favorite game-based learning lectures from experts in game development, education, neuroscience, and more. If you’re reading the Filament Games blog, you’re likely already aware of the power of digital games as tools for learning. Nevertheless, new developments in the field occur at a rapid pace – check out these talks, and let us know if you discover something new!

The Effective Use of Game-Based Learning in Education | André Thomas

Why do many students struggle to memorize the periodic table of elements, yet effortlessly recall more complicated data sets like Pokémon dual-type charts? Friend of Filament and Triseum CEO André Thomas discusses how game-based learning can lead to improved engagement and learning outcomes among students.

Your brain on video games | Daphne Bavelier

Professor and cognitive neuroscience researcher Dr. Daphne Bavelier discusses how digital games – even commercial action games like first-person shooters – can help improve concentration, multitasking abilities, and even eyesight among players.

Gaming can make a better world | Jane McGonigal

Game designer and researcher Jane McGonigal, Ph.D. has proven that online games help foster motivation and optimism among players – and she believes that the power of video game play, if harnessed correctly, can help solve world problems like hunger, climate change, obesity, and more.

Blowing up the gradebook – using video games for learning | Chris Haskell

Dr. Chris Haskell graduated high school with a 1.61 GPA, then turned around and earned his Ph.D. in education. His mission? Helping students discover their natural love for learning through gamified objectives and mechanisms designed to evoke critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration – key components of 21st century learning.

Unboxing education through gaming, playing, and making | Lucien Vattel

Education and game development expert Lucien Vattel dreams of transforming the traditional idea of “school” into an interactive, digital ecosystem where students can immerse themselves in concepts like STEM through hands-on game-based learning activities. Find out exactly how he plans on accomplishing this by watching the full talk!

Learning through gaming: using Minecraft in the classroom | Joel Levin

Minecraft: Education Edition has taken classrooms – and the game-based industry – by storm since its release in late 2016. In this TED Talk, New York City-based educator (and TeacherGaming co-founder) Joel Levin explains why, citing his experiences teaching students key skills like problem-solving, communication and collaboration in Minecraft.

The Super Mario Effect – Tricking Your Brain into Learning More | Mark Rober

Harnessing the power of what he calls “The Super Mario Effect” – that is, reframing failure as a key part of the learning process, rather than an indicator of total defeat – former NASA engineer and present-day YouTuber Mark Rober explains how he applies gamification principles to help engage viewers of his STEM education YouTube videos, and how we can apply the same approach to our own everyday learning experiences.

Tabletop Roleplaying Games as Social Practice | John Arcadian

Writer, art director, and tabletop role-playing game industry freelancer John Arcadian credits games like Dungeons and Dragons with cultivating many of his most useful social skills. Citing research, Jon discusses how the “social play” aspect of tabletop RPGs offer a comfortable setting for players to practice, develop, and refine key social skills.

How virtual reality turns students into scientists | Jessica Ochoa Hendrix

Jessica Ochoa Hendrix, CEO and co-founder of fellow educational game developer Killer Snails, shares how low-cost virtual reality hardware like Google Cardboard is revolutionizing STEM learning – affording students the ability to visit otherwise inaccessible learning environments, perform hands-on experiments, and envision themselves working in careers that they otherwise might not have even considered.

Rethinking Engineering Education with Video Games | Brianno Coller

In his TED Talk, Dr. Brianno Coller of Northern Illinois University shares his unique approach to teaching Mechanical Engineering – video games. Helping to bridge the gap between coursework and real-life concepts, Dr. Coller’s approach to game-based engineering education has not only resulted in increased engagement among his students – but improved learning outcomes as well.


Learn something new from any of the above TED Talks? Did we miss any of your favorites? Let us know – sound off over on our Facebook or Twitter!

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