Moving Forward With Games in Schools
Abstract: This paper details the process offering students game play and game design opportunities in traditional 5-12 grade classrooms. After reviewing research and trends regarding the potential of gaming for learning, a Midwestern school district incorporated Gamestar Mechanic and Quest Atlantis within its standards-based curriculum for middle school students. At the high school level, three educators created a gaming course entitled, Elements of Game Design (EOGD). Nearly 800 students played or designed games during the first year of implementations. Staff and student evaluations provided necessary feedback for revisions and future program growth. In this case, sustainability for innovation hinged on an encompassing culture of participation (Jenkins et. al., 2006), and district-wide commitment to meaningful transformation. To that end, a discussion of policies, culture, professional development, and organizational involvement precede the three classroom snapshots. Examples are designed to promote discussion regarding the potential to extend the models to other classrooms.