21st Century Skills... why game design?I've been using game design for the last couple of years to increase the application of "21st Century Skills" in my class. The actual curriculum of my course is focused on the ISTE NETS, my official standards, and the Pennsylvania Computer Information Technology Standards for grades 6-8. My goal in teaching and assessing those skills, though, is to provide a context including as much STE[A]M focused content as possible and as many opportunities as I can for students to practice the 21st Century Skills.
Gamestar MechanicGamestar Mechanic is awesome. I can't say enough good things about it. "Gamestar Mechanic is a game and community designed to teach kids the principles of game design and systems thinking in a highly engaging environment" (GSM). You don't have to be a game design expert to do this (I certainly wasn't and still am not), but you must provide some context. Gamestar Mechanic is not a babysitter, and most of your students will not accidentally pick up the concepts. I've used Gamestar Mechanic with the excellent scaffolding provided by E-Line Media in the Gamestar Mechanic Learning Guide, as well as plenty of my own.
Gamestar Mechanic is one of the projects of The Institute of Play, an organization that is involved in a lot of other epic projects. One of those is GameKit Beta.