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Board Gaming with Education and Games in Schools and Libraries Crossover feat. Dustin Staats and Kathleen Mercury – 71

Episode Overview

  • Episode Topics and Interviews
    • Dustin Staats and Board Gaming with Education – 2:08
    • Kathleen Mercury and Games in Schools and Libraries – 3:05
    • Resources to Teach Game Design – 4:35
    • Teaching Gifted Kids: Games Provide Complex Problems to Solve – 6:46
    • Game Design and Lesson Planning – 9:08
    • Experiencing a Game Versus Using Games in a Learning Environment – 11:00
    • Points in Games – 24:54
    • Connected Students – 33:55
    • Podcasts on Games in Education – 39:00
    • Kathleen Discusses Game Design – 43:50
    • Goals for Dustin and Kathleen – 60:30
    • Putting “Better” Games in the Classroom – 62:30

This is a special crossover episode of Board Gaming with Education and Games in Schools and Libraries. In this episode, Dustin talks with Kathleen Mercury from Games in Schools and Libraries. They discuss various topics like teaching game design, game-based learning, board games, podcasting, and networking. Be sure to listen in to hear a bit about their experiences on how games and education crossover in their roles as educators. Thank you again to Games in Schools and Libraries and Kathleen Mercury for a wonderful crossover episode!

Website: www.kathleenmercury.com

Twitter: @mmmmmmmercury

Thank you to Purple Planet Music for the wonderful contribution of their songs “Retro Gamer” and “Mumbai Mood” for our interview and desert island segments. These songs can be found in full on this music archive.

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Episode Topics

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WorldsXP is a streamlined gameful experience for your learning environment to increase engagement, develop class culture, and reinforce positive behavior. By implementing WorldsXP you will be able to enhance the learning experience for your adventurers through different gamification elements. As the Kit Master, your Adventurers (students) will choose characters, give them their own unique personalities, go on thematic RPG adventures, and earn XP and achievements all while accomplishing three main goals in your learning environment.

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With WorldsXP you will have a gamified curriculum as a part of your learning environment with the core components of characters, an RPG Adventure Story, and XP. This can be “laid on top of” an already designed classroom management structure and curriculum. You will be able to use the XP system as a behavioral management system, and you will be able to integrate learning objectives into the RPG Adventure Stories. It will help to encourage engagement and motivation, develop culture, and reinforce positive behavior in your adventure space. These are the core components of WorldsXP. Be sure to sign-up for the email list below to receive updates about the advanced features and to know when WorldsXP launches on Kickstarter.   

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Dustin Staats and Board Gaming with Education – 2:08

Dustin is an international educator with experience teaching domestically and abroad in over seven cities and four countries. He is also the founder of Board Gaming with Education, a podcast and community centered around games in various educational settings. He is also heavily involved in the communities where he lives by hosting board game events along with hosting, presenting, and attending professional development for educators.

You can find Dustin in Los Angeles teaching, playing board games with friends, running around Los Angeles training for races, jamming to music, or at any of the “Board Gaming with Education” events.

Kathleen Mercury and Games in Schools and Libraries – 3:05

Kathleen Mercury has been teaching gifted middle school students for fourteen years, using design thinking to create functional art from tabletop game design, RPG design, filmmaking, cosplay, and more. She shares all of her game design teaching resources at www.kathleenmercury.com for free, and loves to collaborate with educators and industry leaders to promote game design curriculum at every level and format.

She currently co-hosts the podcasts, Games in Schools and Libraries, Board Game Broadcast, and is a frequent guest on other podcasts. She has multiple games in various stages of design with her first, Dragnarok, hitting Kickstarter in early 2020. Kathleen thinks happiness comes from being able to create the life you want, and she feels very fortunate that she’s been able to do that.

Resources to Teach Game Design – 4:35

Kathleen has a fantastic website that contains a wealth of resources for teaching game design. Be sure to check out her site!

Teaching Gifted Kids: Games Provide Complex Problems to Solve – 6:46

Kathleen talks about her experiences using games to teach. She shares her first experience attending a conference where she learned about the game Stratego and how it can be used in a classroom for gifted students. For her, this opened a floodgate of new gaming experiences that later carried over into her role as a teacher.

Game Design and Lesson Planning – 9:08

Dustin and Kathleen discuss the implications that design thinking and game design can have on our role as educators. Kathleen shares a story about her experience at the Stanford Design Schools Method of Prototype Development Boot Camp. Kathleen talks about how the boot camp helped her explore different avenues that design thinking can employ as an educator like rapid iteration and bias toward action.

Experiencing a Game versus Using Games in a Learning Environment – 11:00

Dustin talks about how he decides to use a game in his class. How does he decide if a game is appropriate for his lesson? Dustin explains that the experience that the game creates through learning outcomes is essential in deciding what games to use. Dustin demonstrates this through two examples, Taboo and Trap Words. Be sure to listen in to hear both Kathleen and Dustin discuss the implications of different board games or other game-based learning activities in class.

Points in Games – 24:54

Dustin and Kathleen discuss the role of points in games and win conditions. Are win conditions a necessary aspect of game-based learning? Kathleen shares her opinions about quantitative measurements of success versus solving problems in a variety of ways. Dustin also shares his design process for review games and how he ensures that the leading team is not the leading team for too long and includes various random quirky elements in his review games.

Connected Students – 33:55

Kathleen and Dustin discuss the current generation of students and how they use technology and how familiar they are with games. Kathleen suggests that as educators we need to be more confident in designing and using game-based structures in our classes. Dustin talks a bit about his experience helping other teachers employ game-based teaching strategies in English Language Education in Taiwan. He shares some successes he has had with different games and some insights that can create a stronger learning experience for students.

Podcasts on Games in Education – 39:00

Dustin and Kathleen explain how podcasts and networking through the gaming community have developed their abilities as educators. Don’t be afraid to reach out to either Kathleen or Dustin to talk games and education!

Kathleen: www.kathleenmercury.com

Dustin: podcast@boardgamingwitheducation.com

Kathleen Discusses Game Design – 43:50

Kathleen shares some tips for teachers about teaching game design. She shares different techniques like redesigning old games with new design constraints or taking a game and eliminating random mechanics by replacing it with a new game mechanic. Be sure to listen in to hear about her tips and suggestions for teaching game design.

Goals for Dustin and Kathleen – 60:30

Dustin shares two goals: a database for game-based learning and developing a community of educators to get together in a physical space. If you’re in the LA area, be sure to reach out to Dustin and connect! podcast@boardgamingwitheducation.com

Kathleen shares a goal of hers to develop and formalize her game design curriculum by developing standards and make it easier for others to use the resources in their classrooms.

Putting “Better” Games in Classrooms – 62:30

Kathleen discusses the concept of adding better games in the classroom by ensuring games are age-appropriate. This stems from first educating teachers about games that can be great for their lessons and great for downtime in school.


Games from the Episode

Throughout the episode, several games are mentioned. If any of these games sound like something you might enjoy playing yourself or in your class, you can help support our podcast by purchasing these games through our Amazon affiliate links. We will earn a small commission at no expense to you.

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