Sasha Barab
Sasha Barab


Sasha Barab is an Associate Professor in Learning Sciences, IST and Cognitive Science at Indiana University and is the Barbara Jacobs Chair of Education and Technology

His current work involves the design of rich learning environments, frequently with the aid of technology, that are designed to assist children in developing their sense of purpose as individuals, as members of their communities, and as knowledgeable citizens of the world. His research has resulted of dozens of peer-reviewed articles, chapters in edited books, and he is editor of the book Designing for Virtual Communities in the Service of Learning.


Gandalf Enters the Classroom: Learn How We Have Made the Transition with Quest Atlantis

In this presentation we provide a framework for designing play spaces to support learning academic content. While most games do not focus on the learning of science content in particular, it is quite possible to design one that does. Reflecting on our four years of design experience around developing an academic play space, we provide educators guidelines for thinking through what it would mean to design a game for supporting science learning. In our description, an academic play space is a curricular context that effectively balances academic content, legitimate participation, framing narrative, and the use of game rules to establish a context for learning academic content. As a way of illuminating this framework, attendees will experience hands-on examples of abbreviated academic play spaces and then work in small groups to begin the process of building one of their own. We will close with a discussion of lessons learned in terms of building academic play spaces more generally.

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