January 8, 2021

Failure to Disrupt Book Club with Scot Osterweil and Constance Steinkuehler

For TeachLab’s fifth Failure to Disrupt Book Club episode, we look back at Justin’s live conversation with regular Audrey Watters and special guests Scot Osterweil, a game designer and creative director for the MIT Education Arcade, and the esteemed games researcher Constance Steinkuehler. They discuss the history of learning games, their current work, and Failure To Disrupt’s Chapter 4: Testing the Learning at Scale Genres: Learning Games.

“I’ve been studying kids in games for a long time. And oftentimes, when you try to tackle issues of how to treat other people online, how to deal with conflict, how to manage your screen time and also stay physically fit, it’s very hard to create interventions around games, that kids just don’t spit right back out. They just don’t take because there are often layers added on top. They’re not authentic to the space. In my efforts, and I’m sure people have done better than me, but in my efforts, it always seems to be colonizing and the kids will ignore me, and it comes off as, mom is wagging a finger saying you need to get up off that screen and go stretch.” 

– Constance Steinkuehler

In this episode we’ll talk about:

  • Scot and Constance’s background and edtech stories
  • Skinnerian learning and behaviorism
  • Categories of learning games
  • “Transfer” in education
  • The social and community aspect of games
  • Examples of effective game implementations
  • Connection through esports
  • Learning social skills through games
  • The industry of learning games

Resources and Links

Watch the full Book Club webinar here!

Check out Justin Reich’s new book, Failure To Disrupt!

Join our self-paced online edX course: Becoming a More Equitable Educator: Mindsets and Practices


Produced by Aimee Corrigan and Garrett Beazley

Recorded and mixed by Garrett Beazley

Check out the Failure to Disrupt Virtual Book Club Podcast!

In the Fall of 2020 Justin Reich invited guest presenters and students from MIT for a ten week book club exploring themes in Failure to Disrupt. Now he has turned into a Podcast to relive those discussions and offer more insights.