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10 More Brilliant Game-based Learning TED Talks

As winter (finally) draws to a close and makes way for long walks on even longer days, a surplus of greenery, spring cleaning, and a general sense of newness, we want to feel inspired – and we bet you do too! What’s the best way to gain a feeling of inspiration? No, not googling “inspirational quotes.” Ted Talks, of course! 

via Giphy

The short presentations nearly everyone knows and loves, TED Talks, have the power to motivate, engage, and inspire their viewers, and teach them something new along the way. Today, we’re highlighting some more of our favorite game-based learning lectures from experts in game development, education, and more. If you’re a frequent reader of the Filament Games blog, you’re likely already aware of the power of digital games as tools for learning. The following TED Talks span many topics related to game-based learning, edtech, and XR. After watching, let us know if you learned something new on Twitter or Facebook!

The transformative power of video games | Herman Narula

In this TED Talk, entrepreneur and Improbable CEO Herman Narula asserts that the biggest changes in our society over the next five years will stem from video games. Drawing on the fact that a third of the world’s population plays video games, Narula “makes the case for a new understanding of gaming — one that includes the power to create new worlds, connect people and shape the economy.” 

XR in Education | Gemma Busoni

This TED Talk features Gemma Busoni, who appeared in our What’s New in Game-based Learning post earlier this month! She is a 23-year-old Thiel Fellowship recipient and co-founder of coding non-profit Hack Club, as well as VR start-up Discovr Labs. In her talk, Busoni shares why she thinks VR has the power to change education for the better, and how experiences outside of lectures and reading textbooks are necessary to make sure students stay curious. 

How video game skills can get you ahead in life | William Collis

Have you ever wondered what it takes to be an esports athlete, or how esport athletes build skills for real-life success? Esports expert and co-founder of the esports analytics company Genji, William Collis, has those answers and more in this TED Talk! Collis explains how the skills needed to master popular esports titles like Fortnite, League of Legends, and Rocket League can be transferred into valuable career skills. 

Incorporating virtual reality in the classroom | Mfon Akpan

In this TED Talk, professor and virtual reality enthusiast Mfon Akpan explains how virtual reality can enrich students’ lives, making impossible experiences possible in the classroom. Akpan illustrates how students can travel the world, learn about new languages, and more through virtual reality, and why it is something educators should care about. He also describes how VR is “changing the way we work, learn, and socialize,” and how it will eventually change education. This talk, given in 2018, is particularly interesting to watch now in 2022 when VR and the metaverse are extremely hot topics both in educational spheres and elsewhere! 

Learning Through Play | Shahneila Saeed

Why would we separate play from learning, when children learn best from play? That’s what Shahneila Saeed, Head of Education & Program Director of Digital Schoolhouse, asks her audience in this TED Talk. Saeed illustrates that play is inherent in learning, that “play develops our creativity” and allows us to “explore new ideas in a safe environment.” Saeed explains how by integrating play with education, teachers can motivate students to stay curious, develop their technological literacy, and nurture their interest in STEM fields. 

Video games can empower players to make the world a better place | Erin Reynolds

Erin Reynolds is a game designer and the Founder, President, and Creative Director of Flying Mollusk, a game studio with the goal of using emerging technology to improve the world. Reynolds believes that collaborative video game design has the potential to change the world for the better, and in this TED Talk, she explains how. Reynolds describes how games have the power to connect people to others: “Games not only invite people to let their guard down but also cross the divide into different shoes, other worlds, and strange circumstances.” She also describes how games have the potential to connect people to themselves, discussing cutting-edge technologies in games, like biofeedback, which allow players to see and regulate their emotions.  

Using Video Game Principles to Improve Math Scores | Raj Shah

From his tenure as a math teacher, Raj Shah knows that math is a hurdle for a lot of students, keeping a lot of Americans out of STEM careers altogether. In his TED Talk, he proposes that we need to rethink the way we teach math – and video games can help us do just that! By tapping into different game design principles, Shah uncovers how making math into a game increases motivation, curiosity, and willingness to learn.

How a video game might help us build better cities | Karoliina Korppoo

Karoliina Korppoo is one of the game designers who developed the urban planning game Cities: Skylines. In this TED Talk, Korppoo shares why she believes the game is a tool that can help players see cities as systems and help foster players’ sense of creativity and expression. But most importantly, she sees the game as a way to inspire real-life change, emphasizing that the game – combined with human imagination – can pose solutions to real-world problems and build better cities in the future. 

How Augmented Reality Will Change Education Completely | Florian Radke

In this TED Talk, Florian Radke explains how AR extends beyond entertainment – it has a huge amount of potential in education, socialization, and the workplace. During the presentation, he demonstrates how AR may be used in day-to-day life using an AR headset. He points out how many practical and innovative applications AR can have – in medicine, in schools, and beyond. 

Life lessons…from video games | Karl Kapp

Using research sandwiched between a series of funny vignettes about playing games with his students and son, educator Karl Kapp explains why video games’ bad reputation is not deserved. He notes how video games can teach players STEM concepts, better their memories, boost their team-building and social skills, and more. Overall, he emphasizes that games encourage players to think unconventionally and break boundaries. Video games can widen players’ perspectives on what is possible, who they are, and how the world works.   

Feeling inspired by these TED Talks, and ready to make a positive impact with your own game-based learning project? You’re in the right place! Reach out to us for more information and a free consultation

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