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The Game Believes in You: How Digital Play Can Make Our Kids Smarter
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The Game Believes in You: How Digital Play Can Make Our Kids Smarter

4.27  ·  Rating Details ·  79 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
What if schools, from the wealthiest suburban nursery school to the grittiest urban high school, thrummed with the sounds of deep immersion? More and more people believe that can happen - with the aid of video games. Greg Toppo's The Game Believes in You presents the story of a small group of visionaries who, for the past 40 years, have been pushing to get game controllers ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published April 21st 2015 by St. Martin's Press
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Daniel Connolly
Oct 29, 2016 Daniel Connolly rated it it was amazing
Books about education can often depress the reader. This one is ultimately hopeful and uplifting, as Toppo describes the power of video games to draw young people into active, engaged learning on any subject. Consider this passage from the epilogue, about teenagers using the game Minecraft as the basis for an elaborate opera performance.
Toppo writes: "This isn't the same old thing done more efficiently, or, heaven forbid, the same old _stupid_ thing done more efficiently. These aren't better fla
Katy Sauer
Apr 27, 2015 Katy Sauer rated it really liked it
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I love gaming so this book instantly stood out to me. As much as I love playing games on my computer and tablet I hadn’t really thought of them on a level of learning. After reading this book I’m realizing how the various games we play can actually improve how we think and interact. I’ve always known some games were great for school – I remember a game called Number Munchers clearly in school when I was growing up. What I hadn’t expecte
Chris Sosa
May 30, 2015 Chris Sosa rated it really liked it
"The Game Believes in You" provides a glimmer of hope to anyone who's thrown their hands up in despair at the sorry state of U.S. schools.

Greg Toppo's examination of digital play and its intersection with a failing U.S. school system is important and de-stigmatizing.

It's a sober criticism of deeply-held educational ideas in the U.S., but coupled with a willingness to embrace bold new ideas for ensuring our children grow into creative, responsible adults.

Toppo not only traces the evolution of vid
Dec 30, 2015 Jess rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-for-work
As a gamer and educator, I had a lot of good feelings getting into this book, and was not disappointed. Throughout the chapters I found myself excited and making connections to my own work, and what I could do to begin making video games and gaming a part of what I do. School counselors already do so much with role play, using games to teach social skills, and more. This book gave me a sense that there's more to do, as well as ways to do it. I came away from this book hopeful, excited, and ...more
Brenda Hoffman
Apr 28, 2015 Brenda Hoffman rated it really liked it
I received this book as an ARC from goodreads. The author writes well and I appreciate his survey on games. As an educator, I am trying to get students focused on instruction in online learning instead shoot em up. I have noticed that companies behind Achieve 3000, Study Island, Edgenuity have included the game element in assessment. Sometimes the problem with games is the constant need to make sure the right add-on is on the computer, tablet etc. It stops the benefit of games if the game ...more
Chris Aylott
Jul 17, 2015 Chris Aylott rated it liked it
Toppo has the light, breezy style that you would expect from a USA Today reporter, but he also covers all the bases in this highly readable survey of educational gaming. There's a lot of praise for clever game designers here, but it seems pretty clear that the most successful experiments are driven by professional teachers creating better tools for themselves.

The book sags a little at the end with the inevitable "But are games bad for our kids?" discussion, but until then it surveys all sorts o
You need to read this book. Rather than attempt to apologize and rationalize and give into the idea that the screen is the boogeyman that will turn the generation du jour into an army of fill in the blank negative adjectives, Toppo dares to suggest that screen time, video games and the like might actually be good for the children.

As a member of the Nintendo Generation, I found this book to be uplifting and inspiring. It is a challenge to the educational system that has not changed since it began
Rachel Parrott
Jul 14, 2015 Rachel Parrott rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Toppo offers readers an overview the use of gaming in education its present and possible future roles. For those interested in education or gaming, “The Game Believes in You” speaks of how gaming can serve the education of students in many exciting ways. If you are discouraged by the state of education today, Toppo introduces many teachers, gamers and more who look to the promising uses of gaming in engaging students and aiding real learning and critical thinking.

My copy came through Goodreads F
Billie jo smith
Jun 29, 2015 Billie jo smith rated it it was amazing
I'm not much for books about real life topics that are actually going on, but this book I could not put down! It was informative but not boring to the point that I felt like I needed to be writing a paper about it for school all over again. I truly enjoyed this book and it also made me get more teaching/ learning games for my daughter so she can have fun and enjoy learning before she really gets into school.
Geoffrey Skinner
Oct 08, 2015 Geoffrey Skinner rated it it was amazing
Intriguing accounts of how games -- and not just electronic -- are being successfully integrated into classrooms and more. I think my son would probably enjoy school a lot more if he had teachers like the ones Greg Toppo profiles.

I've met the author (he and his family are good friends with my sister-in-law's family), but this is the first time I've read any of his work. A very enjoyable and thought-provoking read.
Nov 03, 2015 Michelle rated it it was amazing
Fascinating book about the state of educational games today, covering a wide swath of examples. The analysis seems pretty sound and the examples were almost all new to me and terrific. Even when they weren't new, I gained a lot of insight into them. My only wish was for more coverage of more types of games, such as language learning games, my own hobbyhorse. I was pretty disappointed when the main text ended at 70% of the ebook, followed by copious endnotes. I wanted it to be longer!
Apr 25, 2016 Abner rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
For me the chapter on the Quest to Learn school in NYC is worth of price of admission. I also wish that many of my friends with kids would read Greg's book - as well as school teachers and district personnel. Yes, technology is not the silver bullet for effective teaching and learning - but, darn, it can engender in young people some powerful stuff, and we need to rid ourselves of old technology tropes and see new ways to engage kids. Technology and games can be just that.
Eric Rutledge
Oct 23, 2015 Eric Rutledge rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
An interesting look into how games can benefit children of all ages. While it does appear to be mostly about video games, there are definitely references to how games in general can help kids learn.

The book goes chapter by chapter with different games they are trying around the world. I really enjoyed this book, even though most of the information wasn't new to me.

Jan 14, 2016 Rekha rated it really liked it
Shelves: adultnonfiction
So many interesting concepts in here about learning that apply way beyond a gaming context. Most interesting to me were two concepts. One: if you feel you're close to succeeding at something, you'll try until you succeed no matter how many times it takes. Two: The breaking down of the barrier between the concepts of difficulty and fun.
Scott Beiter
Sep 14, 2015 Scott Beiter rated it really liked it
I bought this book on recommendation at a Games in Education conference. Was not disappointed. A must read for anyone interested in games in Education. I would also recommend it to parents concerned about their kids playing video games. The author gives just enough research and detail to make a point.
Feb 09, 2016 Tyler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the brief but informative history of gaming and the use of technology in the classroom. The real gold in this book comes from the narratives of how some companies and individuals are approaching the use of technology and gaming in therapy and education. Some of these are pretty inspiring.
May 15, 2015 Heidi rated it really liked it
Shelves: parenting, gaming
A very interesting read!!! Highly recommended for any parents of video game playing kids, and even more so for anyone who cares about the future of education (and isn't afraid to think outside the box).
Apr 24, 2015 Kristen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
If you have any interest in games in classrooms, this book is simultaneously very accessible and covers the research thoroughly. This one falls into my professional realm and I wrote a full review here:
Jun 30, 2015 Erin rated it it was amazing
I'm giving this a five and I'm not even finished with it yet. I'm reading the paper version, which is sad because there are tons of great quotes I want to highlight in my kindle. I still don't know what I think about games/gaming, but this certainly is giving me a lot to consider.
Aug 28, 2015 Nicole rated it really liked it
Shelves: unowned, 2015
An extremely well-written, engaging book exploring the educational potential of video games, and more importantly, what education can learn from video games. A fast, thought-provoking read. Recommended.
Jul 20, 2015 Enia rated it liked it
This book was thought-provoking and does not only address the value of video games but all types of play.
Charles Cavanaugh
Jun 22, 2015 Charles Cavanaugh rated it it was amazing
Great book. Confirms everything that I believe about video games. They're good for you and your brain!
Bob Irving
Dec 15, 2015 Bob Irving rated it it was amazing
I will definitely reread this book. For now, it has inspired me to "gamify" (for want of a better word) my classes.
Palgrave Macmillan
Palgrave Macmillan rated it it was amazing
Mar 25, 2015
Caroline Hendrie
Caroline Hendrie rated it it was amazing
Jul 05, 2015
Heidi Branch
Heidi Branch rated it really liked it
Feb 27, 2016
Matt Lane
Matt Lane rated it liked it
Apr 26, 2016
Caryn Kieszling
Caryn Kieszling rated it it was amazing
Jun 15, 2016
Jason rated it it was amazing
Jun 15, 2015
Alison rated it really liked it
Jul 16, 2016
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“said Paul Howard-Jones, the British neuroscientist who leads the University of Bristol’s NeuroEducational Research Network, games will become central to schools. “I think in thirty years’ time, we will marvel that we ever tried to deliver a curriculum without gaming.” 0 likes
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