Barnes & Noble Presentation Resources: Learning Games

Last night, I spoke at a Barnes and Noble in New Brunswick, NJ. Ii was exciting to talk to a number of teachers and parents about some of the positive impacts video games can have on learning. Great questions from the group and very thoughtful bunch of educators and parents. I really enjoyed our discussions.

Gr8 time at Barnes & Noble last night.

Gr8 time at Barnes & Noble last night.

As part of that process, here are some links to educational games and other assorted resources.

Game to Teach STEM

Below is a link to Survival Master Winter. A game that teaches Science, Technology, Engineering and Math concepts related to energy and hits many next generation science standards.

Survival Master Home Page.

Survival Master Home Page.

Winter Shelter is a unique learning concept that combines two powerful learning tools to create a flexible and efficient curriculum. Designed with input from teachers, middle school students and parents, The Winter Shelter curriculum contains something for everyone.

Based on seven years of research and development, the curriculum combines the best of video game-based learning with the best of hands-on learning to provide a learning curriculum for any student and any educational setting.


Link to Course on Gamification

If you are a subscriber, you can check out a new course I just wrote called “Gamification of Learning” for If you are not a subscriber (or your school district isn’t) you can get a free seven day trial here at this link.

Effective and fun game to teach basic multiplication tables (plus addition, subtraction, division)

Timez Attack

Here are games that can help with teaching algebra and math to students…

1) One of my favorites is DragonBox. It is a multi-platform game that starts out as a card game and then morphs into teaching algebra. Easy to play, easy to get started and does a wonderful job of teaching the fundamental concepts of algebra. The game was voted world’s best serious game at the International Mobile Gaming Awards(IMGA).

And during a Washington State Algebra Challenge, it took on average 41 minutes and 44 seconds for students to master Algebra skills using this game.

2) If you want more of a classroom game, check out Cool Math’s Survivor Algebra. The game is like the TV show survivor. You set up tribes, challenges and then let the students do algebra. The Cool Math web site contains a complete set of rules and walks you step-by-step through the process. A great non-digital game.

3) Applying Algebra to real-life is sometimes tricky. Over at, they’ve created a great real-world application with their simulation of a crash scene called Crash Scene Investigation. In this activity, you must figure out what car caused the accident by calculating estimated speed and estimating forces. It is about a 70 minute activity but can encompass many algebra-related concepts.

4) The company DimensionU has a number of math and algebra games based on a first-person “thinker” experience. One of the games is a single player game where a bio-digital virus has been released on a remote island and threatens to infect the world’s eco-system and destroy mankind. The learner has to join forces in a race to disengage the virus and restore the island to its natural environment.

Here is a video.

5) Western Illinois has gathered a few games to help teach algebra at their site Algebra Online Math Games Mostly a collection of quick short games focused on a specific concept in algebra. Very helpful.

Bonus: Khan Academy has badges and gamification for learning Algebra and other subjects and earn badges as you go and demonstrating master and knowledge of basic to more advanced concepts. Here is a link to the algebra section of Kahn Academy.

If you are interested in math or algebra resources, here are some you might want to check out.

Illuminations: Resources for Teaching Math

Algebra Calculators Guide: 144 Calculators Separated by Skill Level and Type

Algebra Boot Camp – Learn Algebra, Step by Step

Games Related to Energy

Here is one called Energy Hogs.

Here is a game called EnergyVille by Chevron, played like SimCity games.

This game is still available but not on its original site. It’s called Particle Pro.

Additional List of Games

Curated Game Sites

List of Games and Simulations

Political Science Related Games

Science and Medical Related Games
Nobel Prize Related Games

Games with an Agenda
Games for Change

Here is a simulation of dissection of a frog and other animals.

Additional thoughts on Video Games for Learning

Video Games as Good Teachers

Three Cognitive Benefits of Games


To learn more about gamification and games for learning:

Game Forums for Teachers and Gaming

On Twitter follow hashtags

Also, consider following @kkapp on twitter, I post a good bit on educational games.

Information on Parental Control Software

Here is a great link to a comparison of a number of software tools for parental controls. It looks like NetNanny is the clear winner.

Research on Games for learning
Abstracts of Three Meta-Analysis Studies of Serious Games

Can a Video Game Make Someone Nice? The Positive Impact of Pro-social Games

Using Games and Avatars to Change Learner Behavior

Research from the Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Lab

Simulation and Gaming Journal

International Journal on Game-Based Learning

Game Studies: The International Journal of Computer Game Research

Click here to visit a catalog of Resources on this subject.

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Karl Kapp
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