< Back to Blog

A Guide to Game-Based Learning at ISTE 2019

School’s out, mosquitoes are everywhere, and summer weather seems to have finally arrived here in Wisconsin – which must mean that ISTE 2019 is right around the corner!


(Image credit: Giphy)

Dubbed “the epicenter of EdTech,” the annual ISTE conference is dedicated to transforming learning and teaching through exciting new technologies. A four-day event jam-packed with world-class speakers, hands-on workshops, and tons of opportunities to network with fellow leaders in education and tech, ISTE simply cannot be missed – which is why we’re flying out to Philadelphia, PA next week to experience it ourselves!

To help curb our anticipation and make the wait that much more bearable, we’ve scoured the depths of the 2019 ISTE program and assembled the following list of can’t-miss game-based learning and XR for education sessions at this year’s conference. Yes, this list is long. Yes, that means that there are tons of exciting games and AR/VR for learning sessions this year. And yes – you can attend any of these next week at ISTE! Are you ready? Let’s jump right in! ⤵

Game-Based Learning

GameStormEDU: Discover How Students and Educators Can Design Physical and Digital EduGames! (Sunday 6/23 | 8:30–10:00 am)

Creating a game to teach a concept sounds like a tall order … until now! Enter GameStormEDU, a collection of resources, tools and instructionals that help show both students and educators the wealth of ways they can become game designers overnight. Design your very own game to take home.

Presenter: Jonathan Spike (University of Wisconsin – Whitewater)

The Fake News Challenge: an Interactive Digital Literacy Game (Sunday 6/23, 10:30–11:30 am)

Power up your students’ digital literacy. Educators will experience and learn a step-by-step process to implement the interactive game: the Fake News Challenge. Participants will gain knowledge of how to introduce digital literacy in a fun and interactive way, and how to connect with other classes.

Presenters: Scott Bedley (Eastwood Elementary), Todd Flory (Wheatland Elementary School)

Microsoft MakeCode Arcade (Multiple Sessions)

Hosted by Microsoft. Come join us to learn about the new Microsoft MakeCode Arcade – a 2D retro game development environment entirely online. In this workshop, attendees can expect to get hands-on creating simple 2D games using Microsoft MakeCode, & get access to curriculum & resources they can use in the classroom. Registration Required.

Adventures in Game Design: A Gateway to Equity (Sunday 6/23, 11:30 am–1:30 pm)

Learn how Game Design in Google’s CS First Clubs can meet the needs of all students and their diverse backgrounds while engaging them in a fun and creative way to build games and learn computer science.

Presenters: Cindy Wong (P.S.41Q), JoAnn Westhall (P.S.31Q The Bayside School), Lori Stahl-Van Brackle (NYC DOE)

Coding and Game Creation (Sunday 6/23, 11:30 am–1:30 pm)

Are your students interested in game design? Discover how a STEM teacher introduces game creation through the use of code. Coding is an important 21st century skill to teach all students.

Presenters: Daniel Rezac (Tynker Coding for Kids), Denise Wright (Ocean Bay Middle School)

Power Up Your Classroom: Reimagining Learning Through Gameplay (Sunday 6/23 | 3:00–4:30 pm)

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

Presenters: Lindsey Blass (San Francisco Unified School District), Cate Tolnai (CUE, Inc)

Game On! Game-Based Learning Across the Curriculum (Sunday 6/23 | 7:00–8:30 pm)

People’s Choice winner. Discover how to use game-based learning to motivate and increase student engagement. See examples of ways to use game-based learning for social studies, science, language arts and math.

Presenters: Jerry Serrano (Davenport Community Schools), Katrina Serrano (Davenport Community Schools)

Exploring Global and Social Issues Through Online Games (Sunday 6/23, 7:00–8:30 pm)

See how learning about important global and social issues can be fun by playing some of TakingITGlobal’s interactive online games — and dozens of others researched and produced by leading nonprofits around the world.

Presenter: Michael Furdyk (TakingITGlobal)

Game as a playful educational element in learning Spanish (Sunday 6/23, 7:00–8:30 pm)

Learn about the educational game “Un Viaje por América del Sur,” developed for students who take Spanish as a foreign language in São Paulo, Brazil. See how the project uses the game as a playful element, its results and challenges.

Presenters: Fabio Gondo (Colegio Bandeirantes), Rosemeire Carriel (Colégio Bandeirantes), Silvia Marchetto (Colegio Bandeirantes)

Using #EdTech to Transform your Class into an Escape Room (Monday 6/24 | 10:00–11:00 am)

Do you have a topic or a lesson that you want to make come alive but you just don’t know how to make it happen? Try Game-Based Learning! Create a personalized learning experience where students collaborate to solve content-based puzzles to open lock-boxes and “escape”.

Presenters: Eric Guise (Hopewell Valley Central High), Nicholas Johnson (Hopewell Valley Central High School)

Digital Citizenship and SEL With Minecraft: Education Edition (Multiple Sessions)

Hosted by Microsoft. Educators around the world are seeing the impacts of teaching with Minecraft across subjects. But it’s not just STEM and coding – students are building skills in collaboration, communication and empathy. Learn how you can improve citizenship in your school or classroom with this game-based learning platform.

Presenter: Sara Cornish (Microsoft)

Limitless Learning with Minecraft: Education Edition (Multiple Sessions)

Hosted by Microsoft. Learn how to get started with Minecraft: Education Edition. Explore ways teachers use Minecraft to engage and excite students across subjects, and leave with the skills you need to bring game-based learning into your classroom.

Presenters: Mary Elizabeth Pearson (Northwest Council for Computer Education), Meenoo Rami (Microsoft)

Get to Know Minecraft: Education Edition With Code Builder (Multiple Sessions)

Hosted by Microsoft. Combining the open-world learning of Minecraft and the power of code, come experience Code Builder for Minecraft: Education Edition. Learn the benefits of the engagement and collaboration in game-based learning and extensive computer science curriculum freely available for you and your students.

Presenter: Zia Hassan (Microsoft)

Demystifying Coding for You and Your Students With Roblox (Tuesday 6/25, 11:45 am–12:45 pm)

Coding is increasingly becoming a fundamental skill for future workers. Learn how coding using a Roblox-specific curriculum can help students build their first games and learn basic tenets of entrepreneurship — all at no cost to educators and students.

Presenters: Grace Francisco (Roblox), Genevieve Johnson (Roblox)

ISTE Author Spotlight: Power Up Your Classroom: Reimagining Learning Through Gameplay (Tuesday 6/25, 2:30–3:00 pm)

Ready to have fun and leverage the power of gameplay to increase motivation, engagement and build classroom community? In this interactive session based on the book Power Up Your Classroom, you’ll explore game-based learning and the foundational mindsets and frameworks that empower teachers as designers. Equip yourself with the strategies needed to harness the power of play for learning!

Presenters: Lindsey Blass (San Francisco Unified School District), Cate Tolnai (CUE, Inc)

Gaming and Gamification Boosting Engagement and Performance in 21st Century STEAM Rooms (Wednesday 6/26, 8:00–10:00 am)

Explore how adding educational gaming and gamification to your educational repertoire can boost engagement, spur intrinsic motivation and improve learning outcomes in STEAM classes. Students explain how gaming and gamification methods helped them become high-efficiency learners and take active ownership of their progress in school.

Presenters: Calvin Duong, Kennan Goodman (Hopewell High School)

Girls Who Game (Wednesday 6/26, 8:30–9:30 am)

Hosted by Dell Technologies. What happens when girls use games as part of learning? Will it result in greater interest in STEAM and improve global competencies? Will it encourage game-based learning in classrooms? Learn how targeted girls egaming clubs can make a difference for female students and ultimately provide new opportunities for all.

Presenter: Katina Papulkas (Dell Technologies)

Game-Based Learning Resources and Practices to Engage Students in Environmental Science (Wednesday 6/26, 11:00 am–1:00 pm)

Get an introduction to interactive teaching tools that spark students’ interest in environmental science and stewardship. Learn about educational games specifically built for the subjects, and share various practices to use them in science class or STEM/STEAM/makerspace projects.

Presenter: Jane Ji (Springbay Studio Ltd.)

Using Narrative-Based Video Games to Teach Complex Literary and Philosophical Concepts (Wednesday 6/26, 1:00–2:00 pm)

The narrative-based video game is garnering increasing interest as an instructional tool. Explore how you can use narrative-based video games as a vehicle to teach complex literary and philosophical concepts within the English classroom.

Presenter: Joseph Bernard (Galveston College)

Empowering Student Creation With BrainPOP and Breakout EDU (Wednesday, June 26, 1:30–2:30 pm)

Ready to discover new and challenging ways for students to think critically? Bring your device for a fun experience where creation tools collide. Explore exciting techniques that combine BrainPOP creation tools and Breakout EDU game design. Be prepared to think, laugh, engage and learn. Preregistration required.

Presenters: Adam Bellow (Breakout EDU), Dyane Smokorowski (Andover Unified School District 385), Dr. Kari Stubbs (BrainPOP, ISTE Board alumni)

XR for Education

Create Your Own Virtual Reality Tour With Google’s Tour Creator (Sunday 6/23, 8:30–9:30 am)

Google’s Tour Creator makes it easy to build immersive, 360-degree tours right from your computer. Learn how to build virtual reality tours using imagery from Google Street View or from your own 360 photos.

Presenter: Jodean Oviatt (Northwest Career & Technical Academy)

Cellverse: Virtual Reality for Cellular Biology (Sunday, 6/23, 10:30–11:30 am)

We will explore and discuss how cross platform educational games can facilitate conceptual learning and the development of 21st century skills. Attendees will view Cellverse, a game where a navigator on a tablet and an explorer in virtual reality headset collaborate to diagnose and treat a cell.

Presenter: Dr. Meredith Thompson (MIT)

StARt With AR: Incorporating AR in Any Classroom (Sunday 6/23, 11:30 am–1:30 pm)

Get an informative and interactive introduction to ARIS. Learn about some augmented reality games you can take back your schools and classrooms.

Presenters: Kathryn MacDade (Lehigh University / Readington Schools), Kallie Ziltz (Lehigh University)

Bringing Literature to Life With AR and VR (Sunday 6/23, 11:30 am–1:30 pm)

Learn about the best practices for incorporating augmented reality and virtual reality in the ELA classroom. Discover new ways to immerse your students in a literary text through AR/VR experiences while learning new tools that can be quickly implemented in the classroom.

Presenters: Genny Kilpatrick (Lakeland School System), Anecia Warren-Scott (Lakeland Middle Preparatory)

Extending Reality Into ELA: Experiential Learning With AR/VR (Sunday 6/23, 11:30 am–1:30 pm)

Explore specific examples of using augmented and virtual reality across ELA units that go beyond the classroom.

Presenters: Suzana Somers (Easton Public Schools), Maura Richards (Easton Middle School)

Making Lessons Come Alive Using VR and AR (Sunday 6/23, 11:30 am–1:30 pm)

People’s Choice winner. Discover virtual reality and augmented reality platforms that can be used in classrooms to enhance learning in fun and creative ways. The presentation will focus on using CoSpaces with the Merge Cube add-on. Learn how to use VR and AR in all subject areas with minimal setup.

Presenter: Karen Finklestein (City of Pembroke Pines Charter Middle School)

Choose Your Own Adventure: AR, VR, MR and Games (Monday 6/24, 8:00–11:30 am)

The Games and Simulations and Virtual Environments networks will provide a choose-your-own-adventure (scaffolded experiential approach) for you to experiment, play and learn. Come join us for a fun and insightful look at the various platforms and options available for educators of all levels.

Presenters: Dr. Michelle Arbogast (The University of Toledo), Mary Howard (Grand Island Central Schools), Caitlin Krause (MindWise), Angela Lopez (The University of Toledo), Scott Merrick (Metro Nashville Public Schools), Clarence Tan (Boddle Learning)

Tricks and Tools: Engaging in collaborative learning in Virtual Reality (Monday 6/24, 4:30–5:30 pm)

Social Collaboration in VR is knocking our socks off! Join us to discuss 3 dynamic programs that are bringing students together in Virtual Reality for unique learning experiences. From training for dental students to game development we are building communities of educators and students learning together in virtual spaces.

Presenters: Cindy Ball (Oculus), Dan Roy (MIT), Harvey Wright (Seattle Public Schools)

Diagnosing Disease Inside a Cell: Collaborative Learning Environments in VR (Tuesday 6/25, 2:45–3:45 pm)

The CLEVR project has created a VR cell exploration game. Two students team up, one in VR (Oculus Rift) and one on a tablet, to diagnose a genetic disease and select a therapy. This game is designed to fit into high school biology curricula introducing cell processes such as translation (RNA to proteins).

Presenters: Dr. Meredith Thompson (MIT), Dan Roy (MIT)

ISTE Author Spotlight: VR Escape Room! (Tuesday 6/25, 4:45–5:45 pm)

Can you escape this VR experience? Jump into this intense virtual reality interaction with Learning Transported author Jaime Donally and try to escape on time before the game ends. It will take problem-solving, perseverance and help from your educator friends to break out of these VR games.

Presenter: Jaime Donally (ARVRinEDU)

That just about wraps up our guide to all things game-based learning at ISTE 2019! But even more importantly – which sessions are you most looking forward to this year? Sound off on our Twitter or Facebook with your favorites – and perhaps we’ll see you there!

More from the Filament Games Blog:

How to Avoid Getting Sick at Conferences
Cloud Gaming in the Classroom – What Educators Need to Know
VR and Education in 2019

© 2024 Filament games. All rights reserved.