Games and Simulations in Education: A Resource List for Newbies

The following is in response to the requests several of you have made for more information about games and simulations in education.

The use of games and simulations in education is increasing. There is a lot being researched, written, blogged, and talked about on this topic. There are increasing numbers of presentations and discussions on the topic at conferences. The topic is also becoming part of the curriculum in more and more educational technology courses and programs. While I believe that the use of electronic games and simulations in teaching and learning is in its infancy, there are those that have had an interest in this for quite some time, and have acquired a respectable level of expertise in this area. I suggest the following resources to help you prepare to integrate games and simulations with teaching and learning in your classroom.

  • Mark Prensky – Prensky’s provocative nature has helped him become one of the biggest names in games in education. His book Digital Game-Based Learning is a must read for anyone looking to become knowledgeable of this topic. (Warning: He likes to be shocking for the sake of being shocking.)
  • Lloyd Rieber – Dr. Rieber’s understanding of rigorous research and development combined with his ability to easily communicate with classroom teachers has made him a well respected individual in the field of instructional technology around the world. His website, Nowhere Road, is full of useful resources.
  • WWILD Team – This is an “online community of teachers, parents, students, and software developers promoting experiential learning.” Be sure to especially look over the Homemade PowerPoint Games (think, “Webquest meets PowerPoint”) section.
  • Rick van Eck – He has become known for his research in instructional games and simulations.
  • Dennis Charsky – As an emerging researcher and practitioner in the area of instructional games, Dr. Charsky has the ability to communicate his knowledge of computer programming, game development, and graphic design to educators.
  • COTS – Integrating commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) games with teaching and learning
  • It’s All Fun and Games until… – This is a partial compilation of resources (podcasts, PowerPoint files, etc.) from guest presentations given in conjunction with a special topics class I helped co-teach.

What resources would you add to this list? Please leave your suggestions (provide URLs when possible) in the comments below.

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Clif Mims

Clif Mims is a Christian, husband, father, teacher, cancer warrior, and fan of the Mississippi State Bulldogs and Memphis Grizzlies.

2 thoughts on “Games and Simulations in Education: A Resource List for Newbies”

  1. Well, isn’t this nice? Charsky sends us to your blog to read about technology in the schools and you’ve conveniently written about him emerging in this field!!! Sounds like he got you to help him toot his own horn to me.
    (Just kidding, Dennis!)
    Seriously, though. I like the idea of technology in the classroom, because I like technology. In response to Jenn, I understand your reservations. But, I think technology can be helpful for teachers and students who find it fun and engaging. Because learning should be fun and engaging. I don’t think it’s necessary for learning. We still study and refer back to scholars who lived thousands of years ago. They learned without technology. But, technology has the ability to make learning fun for some portion of the students who might not otherwise be engaged by school. As teachers, it is our responsibility to be proficient in any method of teaching that might help some part of the student population to learn more effectively.

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