A conversation about game-based learning can go wildly different depending on who you’re talking to. Many traditional-minded people might respond with doubt or outright dismissal, saying things like, “Don’t the kids play enough games as it is?” or “They need to learn the value of HARD WORK instead!” Others might envision a utopian fantasy where all learning is delivered through carefully calibrated digital games crafted by genius game designers, somehow causing all students to learn effortlessly and be deeply engaged.
Both viewpoints contain a number of misconceptions which we will dispel by sharing what game-based learning actually looks like at Quest to Learn, a New York City public school. By investigating certain realities and practicalities, we hope to equip aspiring educational game designers with new perspectives and strategies by sharing snapshots of the classroom, tips for collaborating with teachers, design considerations for school environments, and our own principles of game-like learning.
Brendon Trombley is a game designer, educator, and adventurer living in New York City. His passions involve games, technology, learning, travel, and food, and he tries to mix and match them whenever possible (be careful when combining food and technology!).
Brendon is a graduate of the New Media Design program at Rochester Institute of Technology, where he trained in the principles of design in addition to a wide array of technologies. He has since worked in the learning and technology industry for 6 years. He is currently with Institute of Play, a non-profit organization leveraging the power of play for education, spending much of his time collaborating with teachers at Quest to Learn, a NYC public school.