Website review by Melissa Powers, Common Sense Education | Updated August 2018

TeacherGaming

Level up learning with streamlined resources for classroom gaming

Learning rating
Editorial review by Common Sense Education
Community rating
Based on 2 reviews
Privacy rating
Not yet rated Expert evaluation by Common Sense
Grades
Pre-K–12 This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
Subjects & Skills
Math, Science, Social Studies, Critical Thinking

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Pros: Polished games give students authentic learning experiences.

Cons: Game and lesson quality varies; topic options are limited but growing.

Bottom Line: All-in-one platform for game-based learning gives teachers the confidence and the support they need to make learning real.

By playing games on TeacherGaming, students can gain a deeper understanding of a topic. For example, in the game Dr. Guts, students play the part of a doctor who tries to make the body function more efficiently. In a humorous and slightly disgusting way, students experiment with the digestive, respiratory, and other body systems with mixed results for their unsuspecting patients. By the time they've completed the game, their understanding of the human body beats anything they could learn from a textbook. Imagine the benefits of a democracy simulation (Democracy 3) and engineering sandboxes (Cities: Skylines or Contraption Maker) for teaching complex concepts and real-world problem-solving. With Planetoid Pioneers and FazGame, students even design their own games.

Teachers get started by creating a class and listing students by first name. There are no student accounts, which makes setup simple and protects student privacy. Each class has a class code that students use to connect to the game. Most of the games can be played via the TeacherGaming student website, but if you choose a game that requires a mobile/desktop app (or you prefer this option), you'll need to download the appropriate app(s) to student devices in advance. These games are all commercially available, but TeacherGaming improves the teacher experience by streamlining access, designing lessons, and analyzing student progress. While analytics on the skills students experience in the game are nice to have, you'll have to use other methods than the dashboard (like the follow-up activities) to truly measure student learning. 

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TeacherGaming is a unique platform that pairs "real" digital games with high-quality lesson plans and learning analytics. Using the TeacherGaming Desk (dashboard), teachers can sort lessons by topic and assign activities. Students connect to the games using a unique code via the TeacherGaming app/web app. While kids play, teachers can monitor progress and view standards-aligned analytics. Many of the games are web-based, though some games support only specific platforms (iOS, Mac OS, Windows, Android, or Linux). Teachers are encouraged to play the games in advance or alongside students, but prior experience with the games isn't necessary.

The customizable TeacherGaming lessons provide teachers with background info, unplugged lesson activities, and gameplay how-tos. TeacherGaming currently offers over 40 games for pre-K to 12 in many subject areas, with science, computer science, and social studies dominating. Games include popular titles Arctopia, Cities: Skylines, Stranded, Democracy 3, Algo Bot, Crazy Plant Shop, Epistory, and more.

TeacherGaming is an authentic and simple way to incorporate game-based learning into the classroom. Most of the games are higher quality than the crummy content-focused "educational" games that try to masquerade as video games. Still, many of the games were specifically built with education in mind and have limitations. It would be nice to see more mainstream games like Cities: Skylines included in the library, particularly games with social and emotional storylines.  

TeacherGaming has identified the educational skills taught within each game to generate analytics based on each student's gameplay. Each lesson includes unplugged activities and group discussions to keep the experience from becoming too screen-focused, and follow-up lesson activities help teachers assess what the students learned while playing. TeacherGaming makes it easy for teachers who aren't gamers to integrate engaging games into their classroom. Chances are, your students will love it, and their expertise will fill in your own knowledge gaps. With 40+ games and counting, surely you can find at least one that fits your curriculum.

Overall Rating

Engagement Would it motivate students and hold their interest? Is it visually appealing? Would it inspire teachers to try something new or change their instruction?

With these first-rate digital games, students will be having so much fun they won't even realize they're learning.

Pedagogy Does the tool help teachers promote a more student-centered experience? Will students gain conceptual understanding or think critically? Does it deepen teachers’ pedagogical thinking?

Authentic simulations, well-designed lesson plans, and an easy-to-use teacher dashboard give every teacher the recipe for game-based learning success.

Support Can students and teachers get assistance when they need it? Is it created with people of different abilities and backgrounds in mind? Is learning reinforced and extended beyond the digital experience?

TeacherGaming is there for teachers every step of the way, but in-game support for students varies by game.


Common Sense reviewer
Melissa Powers Media specialist/librarian

Community Rating

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Featured review by
Joel S. , Technology coordinator
Technology coordinator
Village East Community Elementary School
Aurora, United States
TeacherGaming ROCKS!!
TeacherGaming is great for game-based learning! Lessons are aligned with standards, they are easy to follow, and the analytics that are created really helps paint an accurate picture of what students have been learning and how long they have been playing. Couldn't be [email protected]!
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Privacy Rating

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