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Look Out ISTE! EMC2 Learning is Headed to Philadelphia

Exciting news from The City of Brotherly Love this week — as the EMC² Learning team was honored to learn that our session proposal, Level Up: Designing Games That Go Light Years Beyond Jeopardy and Kahoot, has been accepted and we will be headed to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to take part in the 2023 #ISTELive Conference. Is ISTE on your agenda for 2023? We would love to connect with you in person! Join us for a deeper look at how (and why) we can design stronger, more effective, and more engaging games for our classrooms. 


A ninety minute design workshop at the biggest Edtech conference on the planet! 



You! And not one but both of the co-founders of EMC² Learning.


Michael Matera (@MrMatera) is a Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based sixth grade teacher and the author of eXPlore Like a Pirate: Gamification and Game-Inspired Course Design to Engage, Enrich and Elevate Your Learners. Michael is a 2015 ASCD Emerging Leader with over a decade of teaching experience using interactive play, passion and purpose-driven learning to transform the classroom in international, public and private schools. A nationally recognized speaker, consultant and presenter, Michael is the host of the long-running WellPlayED education podcast and the founder of the annual Hive Summit, an annual event hosted every summer that welcomes thousands of teachers from around the world to a rich and dynamic online speaker lineup of free PD.

John Meehan (@MeehanEDU) is the author of EDrenaline Rush: Game-Changing Student Engagement Inspired by Theme Parks, Mud Runs, and Escape Rooms. In July of 2020, Book Authority ranked EDrenaline Rush among the top 10 titles on their list of the “100 Best Teaching Books of All Time.” He is a high school English teacher and an instructional coach with more than 10 years of  experience in public and private schools in the greater Washington, D.C. area. A 2017 ASCD Emerging Leader, an alumnus of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s 2016-2018 Teacher Advisory Council, and a 40 Under 40 award recipient from the Leadership Center for Excellence, John’s passion for education is matched only by his boundless creativity.

Together, Michael and John are the co-authors of Fully Engaged: Playful Pedagogy for Real Results, and the co-founders of EMC2Learning.com


Let’s face it: far too many “gamified” classroom tools and edtech websites reduce higher order thinking to a brightly colored parade of lower-level questions hidden behind a sea of shallow bells and whistles. The end result? Noisy, fast-paced classrooms that *appear* engaging — but quickly reveal a troubling trend where players are more motivated by hacking their way onto flashy leaderboards than by actually learning the right answer. What’s worse: as many well-meaning educators continue to dedicate significant teaching time to these low-level engagement strategies, students become habitualized to a classroom environment that rewards speed over critical thinking and outcome over creative output. 

This session seeks to correct these troubling trends to show attendees a better way to play by learning how to design playful, purposeful lesson plans where students fuse content knowledge with creativity to achieve incredible levels of performance. In turn, this session will help teachers cut through the clutter when employing these same design principles to craft highly interactive student-centered lessons of their own.

Tuesday, June 27, 2023 | 9:00 – 10:30 AM

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) is the host of the largest annual conference and expo in all of education and technology. Each year, this massive event brings together educators, administrators, and education technology professionals from around the world to discuss and explore the latest innovations in education technology and best practices for integrating technology into the classroom.

With a variety of workshops, presentations, and networking opportunities, the ISTE conference gives educators powerful insight into the future of education — and serves as a veritable who’s who event for anyone looking to stay current on the latest trends and developments in education technology. 

We are excited to see what the ISTE conference has in store for 2023 and can’t wait to see you in Philadelphia!

EMC² Learning is home to more than 500 fully editable resources for any course or content area. Engagement Engineers and members of the Creative Corps enjoy a full year of access to each of these resources on demand. We hope you’ll consider joining us to unlock a full year of site access. For complete details including our exclusive limited time offer for annual site membership, click here.

"This site is a total game changer for both me and my students! Thanks for all the ways you level up my learning and classroom."
Carol McLaughlin
1-8 Teacher

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