Keynotes and Presentations: Michael Matera

Michael Matera: Explore Like a Pirate

Michael Matera: Explore Like a Pirate

Michael Matera has taught for more than a decade using interactive play, passion and purpose-driven learning to transform the classroom in international, public and private schools.

He is a pioneer in the field of education, using gamification and technology to increase authentic student engagement and content acquisition.  Along with being a full time teacher at University School of Milwaukee, Michael is also a nationally-known presenter and international consultant of game-based learning. Additionally, he is the author of Explore Like a Pirate: Gamification and Game-Inspired Course Design to Engage, Enrich and Elevate Your Learners. He was named one of the ASCD Emerging Leaders in 2015 for infusing best practices in the field with accessible gamified teaching methods.  He is also an educational BamRadio talk show host and blogger, whose mission is to build connections among innovative, global educators.

Michael is driven to transform education through theoretical and technological applications that identify and inspire limitless learning thresholds in ourselves and in our students.

Keynote: Explore Like a Pirate

Explore Like a PirateJoin classroom game designer and author Michael Matera on a journey into the new world of education… a world that flourishes on collaboration and creativity. Inspire and empower your students to take control of their learning and leave a lasting legacy.

On this journey, Matera will serve as your experienced guide to help you apply the most motivational techniques of gameplay to your classroom using strategies that work with and enhance (rather than replace) your current curriculum.

Ready yourself for learners who will request MORE of these game-inspired earning opportunities that highlight their talents, ignite their passions, and fuel their desire to leave a legacy. Then brace yourself, matey, for the thrill it will spark in YOU as you follow the call to imagine, design, and grow within a content-filled, experience-rich “New World” classroom.
What will your story be? 


Level up your course design skills with this captivating workshop. Participants will explore proven classroom practices and powerful design tools for all content areas and levels. Through a variety of exercises, teachers will be guided through designing immersive experiences that will provide students with an engaging, risk-rich environment. These transformed classroom activities build students’ resiliency by inviting them to tackle challenges, get out of their comfort zones, and discover hidden talents. Each participant will walk away with executable plans that can can be embedded within one-lesson, unit, or an entire course. Implementing skills and strategies from this workshop have the capacity to change the landscape of the learning environment for students and staff alike.

Playful Planning – What Games Can Teach Us About Learning

Level up your gamified classroom!  In this session, you will think like a game designer and use the most effective game mechanics to create a personalized learning experience for YOUR students.  Whether your class is no-tech, low-tech, or high-tech, this session will help you construct a new and fun-filled learning experienc
e that will have your students begging for more.  Join this exciting adventure and design courses where your students explore both your core content and the world.

Push Play – Beginning Gamification in YOUR Classroom

Everyone is born knowing how to play. Teachers, through playful planning can harness the power of games. Games allow us to learn from our failures, explore the world around us, while unlocking hidden talents in ourselves through leveled challenges. Let Michael Matera serve as your guide and show you how to easily incorporate gaming elements into your lessons to help enrich your classroom and engage your students. Incorporating game theory, thinking, and practice into your course design will breathe new life into both you and your students.  Learn how to start crafting your gamified classroom today to inspire creativity, foster courage and make your content come to life!

Purpose Driven Learning

What is the PURPOSE of school? Hint… it’s not good grades! We are in the life-
changing business, so our lessons must have a greater purpose than just
grades. Are we teaching kids how to memorize facts for a test, or how to be
resilient when struggling with a new concept? Are we accepting mediocre work
because it meets the standard, or are we challenging students to put forth their best effort on every project? In group work, are our students more concerned with “getting an A” , or demonstrating that they are dependable team members?
Purpose Driven Learning can be developed in every subject area to help students reach their fullest potential. Together, we will explore the possibilities that allow our classrooms to have a mightier purpose than just the“letters”.

Beyond the Badge: Mechanics To Build Up Your Gamification Toolbox

Prepare to level up your gamified classroom through this session. You will create a personalized learning experience for your students by thinking like a game designer and using the most effective game mechanics to create AMAZING lessons for your students. No matter if your class is no-tech, low-tech, or high-tech this session will help you construct a new experience for your students to explore the course content and the world. Join in this exciting adventures.

Mini Games: Unlocking The Potential Of Play

Together we will explore how to build engagement through creative play. Whether your classroom is a low-tech or digitally rich environment, mini games give units and lessons the extra pop and sizzle that drives home your content and builds collaboration. So let’s roll up our sleeves and apply acreative twist to our old standbys for review days and class challenges.

Plugin Play–Workshop To Design Your Gamified Lesson, Unit, Or Course

Plugin Play is all about functionality and ease. This workshop builds your plugin play gamification model. Working through the core components of theme, points, badges, and game mechanics, you will leave with a blueprint for success. Additionally, you will learn how use the game inspired design process to construct rich experiences for your students. Come ready to learn and earn your way through this workshop as you unlock your creative ideas to help your students reach their fullest potential.

Game Based Learning: Putting the Game Pieces Together

In this workshop, we will explore the possibilities for using games in education. We will explore a variety of ways to bring playful learning into your classroom. This session will include many examples of games you can use immediately to teach both content and long lasting life skills. With playful learning you can allow your students to have their cake and eat it too.

 Game Club – Design after school possibilities that engage, enhance and elevate the learning. 

This session will explore how to start an after school club centered on games. It will give you practical tips about how to start, where to find funding, and what games to play. These aren’t the games you grew up with that take hours to play. The new games of today will have your students returning for more as they also learn through challenging play.

Game Jam – Building a Fun Future Together

In this workshop, Michael will teach how to host and run a game jam. Game jams give participants random bits and pieces to create new games. The games can focus on content while pushing your thinking into a more creative space. Learning how to use game jams in your school, class or corporation will help unlock your players’ potential.

Listen to an audio podcast interview with Michael Matera:

Want more info on booking Michael at your school, district or event? Contact us:

Return to Speaking page