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Even More Brilliant Game-based Learning TED Talks

Do you want to feel inspired, but you don’t have enough time to read a book, or even listen to an hour-long podcast? Don’t fret, we’ve got some bite-sized (or should we say byte-sized) revelations for you, in the form of TED Talks! Much like a captivating course or an unforgettable lesson, TED Talks possess the ability to incite their audience’s motivation, captivate their attention, and spark their inspiration. Today, we’re putting the spotlight on a selection of excellent presentations related to game-based learning, delivered by experts in fields such as game development and design and education. 

via Giphy

If you’re a frequent reader of the Filament Games blog, chances are you’re already well acquainted with the potential of digital games as educational tools – but at the least, these talks will remind you why you love educational games, and at best, make you think about gaming in a whole new way. Take a moment to explore these talks, and don’t hesitate to share any new insights you uncover with us on Facebook and Twitter! Also, while you’re here, bookmark this post so you don’t lose track of any of these brilliant TED Talks.

How Video Games Can Level Up the Way You Learn | Kris Alexander

In Kris Alexander’s TED Talk titled “How Video Games Can Level Up the Way You Learn,” he highlights how video games align with effective learning strategies. He emphasizes that video games naturally capture our attention and provide clear objectives, fostering engagement and tracking progress. As a professor of video game design and an avid gamer himself, Alexander suggests that these elements should be integrated into traditional education. He proposes using such techniques to accommodate diverse learning styles and enhance student engagement, whether in physical classrooms or online environments.

Level-up Learning: How School Could Be a Better Game | Caitlin Holman

In “Level-up Learning: How School Could Be a Better Game,” Caitlin Holman presents an innovative approach to enhancing education’s engagement factor. Drawing inspiration from video games, she introduces GradeCraft, a learning platform she co-created. This platform employs gaming patterns to potentially revitalize the traditional education system.

The Joy of Learning Through Video Game Narratives | Shibu Jeyanth

Shibu Jeyanth’s compelling TED Talk, “The Joy of Learning Through Video Game Narratives,” sheds light on the often underestimated power of storytelling in education, particularly in video games. With historical roots as a potent tool for human expression, storytelling’s transformative potential in education is a focal point of Jeyanth’s discussion. He introduces the concept of the “Trinity,” an intricate connection between storytelling, the human cognitive process, and educational principles. Through this framework, Jeyanth explores how video game narratives can unlock the joy of learning, captivating learners and inspiring engagement. 

Are Games Art? | Brenda Romero

In her thought-provoking TED Talk “Are Games Art?” Brenda Romero explores the artistic dimensions of video games. Drawing from her extensive experience in game design, she engages with the question of whether games can be considered art. Romero discusses the emotional and impactful narratives that games can contain, highlighting how they can provoke profound experiences and discussions similar to other forms of art. She asserts that games possess the potential to be a unique and powerful medium of artistic expression, deserving of recognition alongside traditional art forms.

Self-Directed Learning Through Video Games | Gabriel Yanagihara

In his TED Talk “Self-Directed Learning Through Video Games,” Gabriel Yanagihara, a video game programming teacher at ‘Iolani School’s Sullivan Center for Innovation and Leadership, discusses his role in teaching students how to program video games using tools like Scratch, Minecraft, and Game Salad. Through his talk, Yanagihara highlights the concept of self-directed learning through video games and shares his experiences in fostering students’ creativity and coding skills.

Injecting Games Into Education | Dr. Ashley Tan

In “Injecting Games Into Education,” Dr. Ashley Tan explores the integration of games into education. Pulling from his wealth of experience as an educator and technologist, Dr. Tan unveils the potential benefits that game-based learning can offer within the educational landscape. With a keen focus on the dynamic and interactive nature of games, he skillfully illustrates how these tools possess the remarkable ability to capture students’ attention and elevate their learning experiences. Moreover, Dr. Tan addresses common concerns and misconceptions that often surround game-based education, championing a deliberate and thoughtful approach to seamlessly infuse games into academic contexts. Through his persuasive discourse, Dr. Tan underscores the pivotal role games can play in nurturing not only creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking among students but also a deeper engagement with the learning process itself.

Learning a language? Speak it like you’re playing a video game | Marianna Pascal

While not explicitly about game-based learning, the final TED Talk in this list demonstrates the educational and motivational powers innate to gaming. In “Learning a Language? Speak It Like You’re Playing a Video Game,” Marianna Pascal introduces a novel perspective on language acquisition. Drawing inspiration from video games, she suggests a dynamic approach to learning languages. Pascal emphasizes that language learning can be more effective and engaging when approached with the enthusiasm and mindset of playing a video game. She explores the parallels between the challenges in games and those encountered in language learning, highlighting how embracing mistakes and progressing through levels can lead to improved language skills. Pascal’s talk encourages learners to shift their perspective, fostering a sense of enjoyment and motivation akin to gaming, ultimately enhancing their language acquisition journey.

That concludes this list of wonderful TED Talks! These presentations illuminate the potential of game-based learning and video games to transform education by tapping into students’ innate curiosity, motivation, and desire for interactive experiences. By embracing innovative ideas from these talks, educators can harness the power of games to create learning environments that are both effective and enjoyable, preparing students for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.

Take these ideas and turn them into a reality! If you want to create an impactful and meaningful digital learning experience, we’re here to help. Contact us for more information and a free consultation. 

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