Ngā Takunetanga | Events

Learning through gaming and game design | Dunedin
Learning through gaming and game design | Dunedin
Created by Tessa Gray
Wednesday, 21 June 2017
7:15 am to 12:00 pm


Wednesday 21 June

Breakfast and seminar: 7.15am — 8.45am
Workshop: 9.00am — 12.00pm

Breakfast seminar: $50 + GST per person
Breakfast seminar and workshop: $150 + GST per person


This seminar takes a deep dive into what students and teachers can learn through bringing games, game design, and “gameful thinking” into the classroom. We’ll discuss examples of primary, intermediate, and secondary teachers in Aotearoa New Zealand who are using games and game design to support students’ learning and enrich the curriculum. What happens when teachers and students start to think like game designers? How can games foster empathy and students’ abilities to think and learn in complex ways? How can “gameful” thinking help us think creatively and empathetically about educating young people for a complex world? 

This CORE breakfast seminar will

  • provide an overview of the diverse ways games and game design can be used for learning
  • unpack the differences between gaming, game design, and gamification, and how each can be used in the classroom
  • outline findings from current NZ research with game-using and game-designing students and teachers
  • give you lots of ideas to keep thinking about when you head back to school!

In the workshop we will

Play with a variety of “starter” tools and resources to spark thinking and conversation about how to integrate games and game design into your practice (or build on what you’re already doing). It doesn’t matter if you’ve never tried game design or gamification before! Working in table groups, and depending on your needs and interests, you’ll have the opportunity to play and create paper-based games, unpack key elements of the game design process, and explore some free-to-play digital games and game-building platforms. There’s no simple recipe for game-based learning and the possibilities are vast, so come prepared to pick your own path to get what you need most from the workshop. 

Who will this session be of interest to?

This session will be of interest to teachers and leaders who are curious about expanding their thinking about the educational potential of games, and/or who seek ideas and inspiration about how to bring gameful thinking and practice into their schools and classrooms. Those who stay on for the workshop may wish to bring a unit of work, theme, or focus they would like to use as a context for exploring these ideas further


Rachel Bolstad is a senior researcher and emerging game designer at NZCER. Her work in education research is driven by an endless curiosity about the world and a strong commitment to better educational experiences and outcomes for all learners, including teachers, families, and communities. She currently leads a research project called “Games for Learning”, and recently released her first digital game, “Curriculum for the Future”. You can find out more about Rachel’s work on her Games for learning blog and Curriculum for the Future game.


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