I’m presenting a pair of sessions today at Paul VI High School for any teachers interested in attending from schools throughout the Diocese of Arlington. Sessions are first come, first served, and seating is limited!
The Gamified Classroom: Game-Based Learning That’s Light Years Beyond a One Day Jeopardy! Review
What would happen if classrooms were more like a living, breathing, video game? How much more could our students learn if we mixed the fascinating storylines of Zelda, the massive open worlds of Tomb Raider, the social gameplay mechanics of Pokemon, the competitive community-driven leaderboards of Madden, the strategic resource management of Minecraft, and the super cool power-ups of Mario Kart? Welcome to the gamified classroom: an immersive full-year experience that transforms your curriculum into a never-ending hive of student exploration, curiosity, and wonder — where meaningful discoveries are driven by learners who genuinely look forward to doing more work. Motivation shifts from grade chasing to genuine curiosity. Kids come to class excited to learn new content. And teachers rediscover daily the joy that makes us love our jobs.
Stage a Class Escape Room with Breakout EDU
Escape Rooms are team-based challenges with elaborate puzzle solving where participants must work together in a race against the clock to “break out” of the fictional scenario before time runs out. Inspired by a training session hosted by NCEA and Catholic EdCamp at Notre Dame of Maryland in November of last year, come take part in a sample simulation and learn how teachers can bring these same immersive “Escape the Room”-inspired scenarios to life in their classrooms in any content area. No fancy technology required! This session will provide hands-on training in how to adapt these same principles in creating classroom versions of these high-energy, participant-driven assessments by using customized, curriculum-aligned scenarios while testing participants’ higher-order thinking, problem-solving, communication, and teamwork abilities.
John Meehan (@MeehanEDU) is an English teacher and school instructional coach at Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington, Virginia. He began his teaching career in 2010 as a career switcher through The New Teacher Project, after spending five years working in social media and event marketing. He is a 2017 ASCD Emerging Leader, and an alumnus of the 2016-2018 Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Teacher Advisory Council. In 2016, he was named one of Arlington, Virginia’s “40 Under 40” by the Leadership Center for Excellence. He is a past presenter and regular attendee at educational conferences throughout the United States, including the annual conference for National Catholic Education Association, ASCD Empower19, and the Play Like a Champion Today: Character Education Through Sports summer conference at the University of Notre Dame. He’s an avid runner who’s completed more than three dozen marathons, half marathons, long-distance road relays, mud runs, and obstacle course races. John lives in Silver Spring, Maryland with his wife, Laura, a high school music teacher and fellow graduate of The Catholic University of America, and a giant-sized Maine Coon cat named Jack.
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