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A Guide to Game-Based Learning and Esports at ISTE20

Filament Games | Educational Game Developer

The undisputed EdTech event of the year, ISTE20 kicks off on Sunday, November 29th – anyone else feeling the HYPE!?

(Image source: Giphy)

A weeklong virtual event packed with live and on-demand sessions, interactive workshops, and tons of opportunities to connect virtually with other leaders in education and tech, it’s no wonder ISTE has earned its reputation as “the epicenter of EdTech”. And though we’re sad we won’t be able to meet new folks and catch up with old friends in person at this year’s event, we’re thrilled that ISTE is made accessible to more educators than ever before thanks to its digital nature!

With less than two weeks to go before the conference kicks off, we wanted to help our fans make the most of their ISTE20 experience – which is why we’ve put together the below roundup of some of our most-anticipated game-based learning and esports EDU sessions from the full conference schedule. Be sure to reach out on our Facebook or Twitter if you’d like to give a shout-out to any other sessions – we can’t wait for this year’s event, and maybe we’ll even see you on the (virtual) stage!

Game-Based Learning

Encourage Collaboration and Problem-Solving With Digital Breakout Games 

Date/Time: Sunday, November 29, 7:45–8:30 am PST

Summary: Help your students escape mundane lessons by creating free digital breakouts to use in your classroom. Come learn how to use Google Forms and Google Sites to create free digital breakout games that encourage collaboration, stimulate problem solving, nurture content knowledge development and have fun while doing it!

Energized High-Efficiency Learning in STEAM Labs Powered by Personalization and Gamification

Date/Time: Sunday, November 29, 8:00–9:00 am PST (Pacific Standard Time)

Summary: Explore how students can enjoy immersive learning experiences and increase academic gains through data-driven personalized learning and gamification. Students share how gamified classes tailored to their interests jump-started a high-efficiency STEAM learning environment empowering them to be creative thinkers, risk-takers and collaborative members in learning teams.

How innovative schools address social emotional health, social media, and current events

Date/Time: Sunday, November 29, 9:30–10:30 am PST

Summary: Bring your device to this first-ever interactive workshop that explores positive, gamified, and student-led social-emotional learning — created with over 50,000 students nationwide. Play along using your own devices and learn actionable takeaways and best practices to empower your students, parents and faculty immediately.

Creating Digital Literacy Through Online Games

Date/Time: Sunday, November 29, 9:30–10:30 am PST

Summary: Power up your students’ digital literacy. Experience and learn a step-by-step process to implement interactive online games, like the Fake News Challenge. Gain knowledge of how to introduce digital literacy in a fun and interactive way, and how to connect with other classes.

Start your students’ differentiated math adventure using KinderTEK iPad math!

Date/Time: Sunday, November 29, 11:00 am–12:00 pm PST

Summary: KinderTEK (KTEK) is an engaging, interactive iPad-based math program targeting kindergarten whole number concepts. Easy to use in any context, it provides differentiated, customizable instruction and practice. Educators will learn about the app, online data dashboard, and resource library so they can confidently start implementing KTEK with students.

Creativity Games: Fostering 21st Century Success Skills

Date/Time: Sunday, November 29, 11:00 am–12:00 pm PST

Summary: Cognitive creativity, essential in the tech-driven 21st century, is a declining skill. In this session, participants will learn techniques to reverse this trend. Group activities will teach creativity techniques, including improv, and how they build teamwork and cognitive creativity. With these skills, students become innovative, tech-savvy problem-solvers.

Power Up Your Classroom: Reimagine Learning Through Gameplay

Date/Time: Sunday, November 29, 12:15–1:05 pm PST

Summary: Ready to have fun and leverage the power of gameplay to increase motivation, engagement and build classroom community? Explore game-based learning and foundational mindsets and frameworks that empower teachers as designers. You’ll leave this highly interactive session a gamemaster, equipped with the strategies needed to launch game-based learning!

Games & Simulations and Virtual Environments Playground: Generation VR2 (Squared)

Date/Time: Monday, November 30, 11:00 am–12:30 pm PST

Summary: The Games & Simulations and Virtual Environments networks will provide a variety of next-generation technologies that employ game-based learning and creativity. PLN members will guide you through stations focused on VR, AR, gaming and virtual worlds with a focus on content creation.

Experiments, Explorations & Entrepreneurship: Making More of Math

Date/Time: Monday, November 30, 11:30 am–1:00 pm PST

Summary: Students often enter the mathematics classroom with a fixed mindset about how they will perform. Math can be beautiful, fun and interactive. Learn how to make math more relevant through the use of STEAM and maker activities, virtual and augmented reality, games and entrepreneurship.

Interpersonal Connection, Engagement, and Learning With Videogames During Remote Learning

Date/Time: Monday, November 30, 12:00–1:00 pm PST

Summary: The education system has needed to adapt to Covid-19 and students are facing difficulty staying engaged and learning information from the new virtual school setting. Explore research on how videogames can enhance learning, engage students and help assess whether students understand new concepts during remote learning.

Building Awareness of Teens Lived Experience Through Game Design

Date/Time: Tuesday, December 1, 12:45–1:30 pm PST

Summary: This mixed-method research investigates how teens incorporated issues important to them into processes of game design. We discuss how and to what extent their self-expression, awareness of systems thinking, and understanding of the interplay between game spaces and personal lived experiences were reflected in their game prototypes.

Get Gamin’: A Project-Based Learning Unit

Date/Time: Tuesday, December 1, 1:30–2:30 pm PST

Summary: Are you trying to find ways to engage your students in meaningful and empathic problem-solving opportunities? Learn about a collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University’s CREATE Lab to guide students through a game design project, following the engineering design process and using a human-centered design approach.

Co-Robotics: Robots, Drones + Humans

Date/Time: Wednesday, December 2, 3:00–4:00 pm PST

Summary: Learn about GaleForce, an immersive collaborative robotics (co-robotics) 3D Unity game that we are developing as part of our NSF project Girls Immersed in Robotics Learning Simulations (GIRLS) where students program robots and drones to help a community to recover from a hurricane.

Gamification and Badges to Engage Elementary Students

Date/Time: Wednesday, December 2, 4:30–5:30 pm PST

Summary: Learn about gamification and student badges supporting elementary students’ journey in becoming well-rounded digital citizens. Experience the entire process from beginning to finale; embrace different viewpoints of our community, especially students, related to their journey during this quest; and receive resources to encourage their own quest creation.

10 Terrific Gaming Tools for Using the Triple E With Elementary Students

Date/Time: Wednesday, December 2, 4:30–5:30 pm PST

Summary: Learn about 10 tools to engage your young students in the learning process using game-based learning. Get a description of the tool, classroom use ideas, ways to use the tool with remote or blended learning, and learn how each tool relates to the Triple E Framework.

Math Snacks Early Algebra: Exploring Imaginary Archeological Sites With Curse Reverse 

Date/Time: Wednesday, December 2, 4:30–5:30 pm PST

Summary: Learn how math educators, mathematicians, learning specialists and game developers collaborated to develop and test an online game and support materials around early algebra concepts. Math Snacks Early Algebra is a series of educational, inquiry-based and constructivist activities that can be used with existing curriculum.

Blended Gamification: Battle of the Big Ideas

Date/Time: Wednesday, December 2, 4:30–5:30 pm PST

Summary: Fantasy football meets philosophy in this game-based approach to humanities focusing on tracing big ideas and themes throughout history or literature courses. Participants will play Battle of the Big Ideas while exploring how to use and modify this blended digital and non-digital gamification model for their classes.

Board Game Design for Student Learning

Date/Time: Wednesday, December 2, 4:30–5:30 pm PST

Summary: Student presenters will discuss how they expressed their learning by playing and designing strategy board and card games.

Fortnite Creative: Leveraging Student Expertise in Content Creation 

Date/Time: Wednesday, December 2, 4:30–5:30 pm PST

Summary: Students love games and thrive when we make learning meaningful for them. Fortnite Creative Mode allows students to create their own content (games, learning experiences and so much more!) in the Fortnite sandbox. Educators in all content areas are embracing the use of tools like Fortnite Creative!

Logic and Puzzles Can Increase Engagement and Build Problem Solvers

Date/Time: Wednesday, December 2, 4:30–5:30 pm PST

Summary: Sixth-grader Jake Kravetz will share how logic games, puzzles, riddles, and gaming grab students’ attention and keep them interested in every subject area. Jake will demonstrate the problem-solving programs he uses to train his brain. We will provide resources for teachers in all subjects.

Oceanus: The Gamifying of My Middle School ELA Classroom

Date/Time: Wednesday, December 2, 4:30–5:30 pm PST

Summary: Explore how one teacher transformed a seventh-grade English language arts class into a game. Discover how the yearlong game empowered students to take control of their own learning on the deserted island of “Oceanus.” Walk away with tools and techniques to gamify your own classrooms.

Reaching Struggling Math Students Through Online Tutoring and Virtual World Game Play

Date/Time: Thursday, December 3, 12:00–1:00 pm PST

Summary: Learn how online tutoring with game-based assignments showed promising results in increasing student engagement and outcomes. Hear about the successes and challenges of implementing a blended-learning model for middle school students in a math credit recovery program.

Be Part of the Learning Revolution With Fortnite Creative

Date/Time: Thursday, December 3, 12:45–1:30 pm PST

Summary: Teachers are making learning relevant, leveraging student expertise by assigning projects from history to game design using Fortnite Creative as a sandbox. 3D can bring subjects alive beyond games, students learn skills they will need in the future as our immersive world evolves and interacting in 3D becomes the norm.

Build a Better Book: Empathy-Driven Design in School and Library Makerspaces 

Date/Time: Friday, December 4, 1:30–2:30 pm PST

Summary: Build a Better Book engages youth with an empathy-driven design and making task: creating accessible books and games for children who are blind or low-vision. Participants will learn how to harness different maker technologies to create interactive, inclusive products that can be accessed by multiple senses.

Not Your Usual Arts Assessments! Make Them Creative, Collaborative, Interactive and Authentic!

Date/Time: Friday, December 4, 1:30–2:30 pm PST

Summary: Regardless of the educational environment, your students’ projects and performances are creative and authentic. Shouldn’t our assessments be the same? Adapting Chrome apps, games, and digital portfolios to create assessment tools that are useful in any learning environment provides creative, collaborative, interactive, and authentic experiences for your students and you.

Best Model Wins: Using Games to Teach Advanced Modeling and Data Science

Date/Time: Saturday, December 5, 7:45–8:30 am PST

Summary: Learn how analytics students at the Kelley School of Business are competitively hunting spies, predicting floods and harvesting giant peaches to master advanced concepts in data modeling. Then, practice using a versatile design framework to design games for your own classroom — whether your students are kindergartners, college seniors or beyond.

Tech Girls Rock!

Date/Time: Saturday, December 5, 9:00–9:45 am PST

Summary: As female technology integration specialists, we’ve noticed a lack of women in the technology field. Our session will focus on catering technology to young ladies. We will discuss and demonstrate various technologies, including coding (Codesters, Make Code, Code Spark), drones, spheros, quiver fashion (augmented reality), merge cube and video games.

#NeverStopLearning Embedding STEM Through the Use of Rich Math Tasks

Date/Time: Saturday, December 5, 9:30–10:30 am PST

Summary: Learn to engage your students through creative online games that support STEM and rich math tasks. The games (TVO mPower, TVO Mathify, Knowledgehook) are curriculum-based, learner-centered, assessment driven, tested and trusted. These tools give teachers data to promote and facilitate seamless learning and math support.

Esports EDU

eSports Lightning Talk

Date/Time: Tuesday, December 1 @ 12:15–1:00pm PST

Summary: These eight to 10-minute inspirational talks about educational focus on knowledge, learning and evidence-based practices that work. Presenters will share stories, concepts and ideas on important issues that impact teaching and learning.

  • CTE and E-Sports: Gaming Your Way to Work
  • Ready Player One: Esports in K-12

The Rising Tide of Esports in Education

Date/Time: Tuesday, December 1 @ 2:00–2:45 pm PST

Summary: Esports in on the upswing – professionally, in college, and in K-12 – but costs can be daunting and concerns over equity and player toxicity are worrisome. This session will address those concerns with research and discussion from current practitioners to help get the most our of esports opportunities.

What the Research Tells Us: Digging into the Benefits of Scholastic Esports

Date/Time: Wednesday, December 2, 3:30–4:15 pm PST

Summary: Drawing on 3 years of HS esports data, researchers will discuss salient findings on the impact of esports leagues and how they may affect academic outcomes. Findings include impact of esports on traditional academic topics; participant growth in social/emotional skills; possibility to address equity concerns in low-income schools.

The ‘E’s Have It! Bringing Together ELA and Esports

Date/Time: Wednesday, December 2, 5:00–5:45 pm PST

Summary: Connecting learning to student interests makes all the difference in learning and remembering concepts. The panel will share how our fully credentialed, state-approved curriculum has grown, the results of our 2019- 20 Scholastic Esports Fellow program, and highlight how to effectively integrate esports into the classroom.

Gaming for Good: Designing E-sports Programs in K-12 Schools

Date/Time: Wednesday, December 2, 4:30–5:30 pm PST

Summary: Gaming is a bigger industry than movies and music combined, and in 2019, more than 200 colleges and universities offer scholarships to scholar-gamers. E-sports are coming to schools whether we are ready or not. How can we use gaming as a force for good?


For more game-based learning insights, check out these relevant articles:
How Educational Video Games Can Help Foster Social and Emotional Learning
5 Resources for Using Games in Remote Learning
10 Brilliant Game-Based Learning TED Talks

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