Season 2, Episode 4

Gamification in the K–8 classroom

In this episode, Eric Cross sits down with his colleague and friend Fabian Hofmann to talk through gamification in the K–8 classroom. They discuss Fabian’s experience teaching outside of the United States, and the differences in classrooms outside of the country. Fabian explains the integration of game mechanisms in the classroom, standard-based grading, and shifting student thinking about learning by forming strong relationships. Fabian also shares how he created a new STEM course at his school, revolving around his own passion for Star Wars.

Meet our guest(s):

Fabian Hofmann

Fabian Hofmann is a middle school International Baccalaureate teacher and host of the Podcast, Rebel Teacher Alliance. He is currently teaching 7th grade History and Multimedia Design just down the hall from Eric Cross at Albert Einstein Academies Middle School in San Diego. To engage students, he uses technology and gamification. Students embark on a year-long journey through a galaxy far, far away to learn the ways of the “Force” and some world history along the way. Follow him on Twitter and check out the Rebel Teacher Alliance podcast.

Meet our host: Eric Cross

Eric Cross is a seventh grade science/technology teacher, grade level lead, and digital learning innovator for Albert Einstein Academies, International Baccalaureate schools. He is also an adjunct professor of learning and technology at the University of San Diego and a Google certified innovator. Eric earned a bachelor’s degree from Azusa Pacific University and a Master of Education from the University of San Diego. He had 17 years of experience working with at-risk youth and underserved populations before becoming a middle school teacher. By building relationships with students, colleagues, and the community, he has become an empowered leader in and out of the classroom. Through meaningful learning experiences centered around student agency, STEM has become accessible to students through highly engaging lesson design, thoughtful integration of digital tools, and culturally relevant pedagogy.

Transcripts and additional resources

Show notes:


I want my students to come in and feel like they are playing the game. I used smells. I used sounds to try to immerse them more. And then so one day I was like, wouldn't it be cool to create a classroom that looks literally like a set? - Fabian Hofmann