CLASSREALM: Very inspiring read from Mr. Ben Bertoli (@superbentendo), a sixth grade teacher in Indiana. As a dedicated educator and serious video gamer, he chronicles the design and beta testing of ClassRealm, a MMORPG (massively multi-player online role playing game) for student engagement. While hardly massive (World of Warcraft touts 10.2M users) and mostly offline, the beta is a result of Mr. Bertoli’s reflections on his own learning from role-playing games like Pokemon Red and Blue.
At one-week old, the beta results fall short of grounded research but Mr. Bertoli was floored by the “twenty unassigned essays written” in pursuit of what he dubbed the “Newberry achievement” (yup, same Newberry). Teachers looking to introduce their own games into the classroom should find a great resource in ClassRealm’s rules of play which incorporate many of Jim Gee’s learning principles for games.. Our favorite rule? Rule #1: ClassRealm is completely voluntary.