What is Game Based Learning?

Many times the term game based learning can be confused with gamification. Essentially GBL is when a game is used as a tool for learning academic or non-academic goals. The game becomes an alternative way to present material or spark discussions. It is a great way to promote critical thinking and problem solving.


To call Minecraft a popular game is nothing less than an understatement. According to the Minecraft.net site, over 19 million people have purchased this game. Students of all ages are playing this game on one platform or another. This video posted to YouTube by TeamMojang gives a great perspective of why students like this game.

Official Minecraft Trailer

Since 2013, I have been leveraging this game in my classroom to teach everything from digital citizenship to a variety of math concepts to scientific process. Students have used it to make wonderful creations in creative mode, adapt to the dangers of survival mode, and complete maps while in MinecraftEdu mode.


My students piloted this addition to the games used for learning in my lab. KerbalEdu is an educational version of the popular game Kerbal Space Program. In this game, the player is able to design, launch, and pilot aircraft and spacecraft. This teacher oriented version provides several tools for data collection, visualization of forces, and the design helper. There is also a mission library where teachers can find user created lessons to help with integration.

Contraption Maker

Over 120 parts

Problem Solving

Maker Lab

Sharing Online