Gaming strategies in the classroom are allowing teachers to expand their reach in the classroom and individualize learning for each student. Not only are they social and collaborative, but they are also built better for assessment.

Teachers are learning to align games with learning from the youngest students all the way to high school and across several subject areas including math, literacy, the arts, alphabet knowledge—even extending to making students better social citizens.

Four media partners in Pittsburgh—NEXTpittsburgh, WQED Multimedia, 90.5 WESA and Pittsburgh Magazine—have been reporting on Remake Learning initiatives like this in the region for the past year. Together we are shining a spotlight on everything from innovations in early childhood learning to making, STEAM and robotics.

The following are a few examples of schools and teachers in the region who have been highly effective in incorporating gaming and gamification in the classroom.

Gaming opens up cool new worlds of learning

When students walk into Daniel Harrold’s English class, they enter a whole new world that takes them deeper into the structure and meaning of great classical literature. His Baldwin High School senior English class is but one example of the ways that gamification, games and mobile apps are being used in classrooms throughout the region to facilitate learning.

What does a digital learning library look like?

Each week hundreds of teens pour through the doors of the Carnegie Libraries. They come for the games and stay for hours to learn new media technologies. Corey Wittig is the Teen Services digital learning librarian in charge of the program that is doing an outstanding job in opening doors to the underserved students who are served by the program. Through the lab students are learning design and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) skills. In this Q&A, Wittig discusses what the program is offering to the teens in the region.

Gaming teaches a wide range of skills at Propel

More and more educators like Matt Fuchs at Propel Braddock Hill’s High School are using gaming in the classroom to teach students a wide range of skills from tradition subjects, like reading and math, to cooperation, digital citizenship and time planning skills –things they’re going to need throughout their lives. Gaming will help students in the future to use strategy and critical thinking skills to solve problems—and all while having fun, teachers say.

Gaming for the tiniest of tots

Each episode of “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” is carefully crafted by The Fred Roger’s Company with the young child, two- to five-year-olds, in mind. The pace is deliberately designed so that it won’t overstimulate children. Pittsburgh-based Schell Games has partnered with Fred Rogers to create a musical game within the program as a way to extend the program’s social-emotional curriculum and teach children skills through play imagination. Children can also make up their own stories as they play with dozens of stickers in Daniel’s house and the neighborhood.

Deb Smit

Deb is an award-winning journalist who loves ancient places and cool technologies. A former daily newspaper reporter and Time-Life Books editor, she writes mostly about Pittsburgh. Her stories have appeared in Fast Company, Ozy and Pittsburgh Magazine.