DR. Chris Haskell

Dr. Chris Haskell plays video games for a living, or at least that’s what his friends think.  As a professor and researcher Boise State University, Chris focuses on the impact of videogames, virtual worlds, social media, and digital culture. Dr. H teaches his classes in Minecraft and World of Warcraft. He created a course about Facebook, Youtube, and Memes. He even has retro 80s arcade games in his office,... for research of course. When it comes to work, Dr. Haskell is serious about play. It’s no wonder his friends think he needs a real job.


At the Boise State University, Dr. Haskell specializes in preparing pre-service and graduate teachers in methods and applications of technology integration in the classroom. In addition to instilling fundamental skills, Chris focuses on the use, adaptation, and implementation of emerging technologies in teacher education including gaming, mobile communication devices, portable media players, social networking tools, and virtual worlds.

Serving as a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Technology at Boise State University, Chris is actively piloting and developing groundbreaking alternative approaches to delivering and tracking learning. With co-inventor Dr. Lisa Dawley, Chris created 3D GameLab, a game-based/quest-based learning management system. His classroom serves as a unique game-based technology and pedagogy lab where this new and innovative practice is producing exciting results.

Chris is also the creator and host of the Cool Teacher Show, an entertaining and funny Facebook series for teachers.  


To Boldly Go: Technology, Society, and Captain Kirk

Few would argue that our dreams of a technologically driven world were, at least, manifest in the popular culture, media, and books of the last 5 decades.  But, a detailed look back shows far more connections between science fiction and science fact than previously considered, especially as it relates to society, business, and education.  American society has been one of the primary beneficiaries of our collective creativity.  If a half century of text, film, television, and games and research can be our guide, we can make accurate prediction about the future of the world we live in..  In this presentation, Dr. Haskell (dressed as a Star Fleet officer) will identify trends in information access, technology tools, interfaces, artificial intelligence, describing their proliferation in an upbeat, TED-style and Star Trek themed presentation.  He will share research into how these tools and trends have changed our society and those major changes on the horizon.  Attendees will "Boldy go where no [audience] has gone before."

From Dropout to Doctorate: The surprising stories of how those who were failed by school rose up to re-invent it.

Believe it or not Steve Jobs, William Shakespeare, Albert Einstein, and countless current educational leaders failed to thrive in the school systems of their time. Yet, they succeed in spite of education, not because of it.  Furthermore, their contributions are monumental. With a high school GPA of 1.71, (now Dr.) Chris Haskell knows a lot about struggles, and his quest to change the way schools.  His presentation will highlight the stories, struggles, surprising similarities, and strategies that help academic losers, move to the front of the class, and forever change school and the world.

All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Why your parents were wrong about your misspent youth

What did you spend your time doing when you were young?  Whatever it was, I bet you loved it but adults may have not been as keen. Dr. Chris Haskell, a researcher in video games, virtual worlds, and digital culture unpacks the trappings of your misspent youth. He adds social and learning science that PROVES you weren’t up to now good, but actually generating preparing for your future, cultural capital, and getting smarter.. Dr. Haskell’s funny, interactive, “Wait, Wait! Don’t Tell Me!”-style of presentation that is part game show, part flashback, part TED-talk, and ALL fun.

Blowing Up the Gradebook

What would school look like if it "played" like a video game?  To find out, researchers and faculty at Boise State created an experimental game-based learning management system.  For two years they have been conducting a hand researching classes built on the principles of quest-based learning which leverages experiences points, badges, achievements, leveling, and student choice.  The presentation will demonstrate the tool, pedagogy, and share the results of a more than two years of Design-Based Research into student success and satisfaction in quest-based learning.

Guide to Surviving The Zombie Apocalypse OR A Year of Teaching. 

In his session, Dr. Chris Haskell shares his lighthearted and humorous take on teaching in the digital age. From his book, "Guide to Surviving The Zombie Apocalypse OR A Year of Teaching," Chris will share a straightforward strategy about protecting yourself against brain-thirsty zombies OR students, which his research confirms are almost identical at the molecular level.  He shares technology rich tools and strategies to improve communication with students, parents using safe social networking tools and practice, execute fundraising and trip planning craft meaningful and lasting classroom goals to help you “produce the deadliest army of ninja assassins in all of Harborview Elementary School", or whatever YOU want. and many more tools that can support good teaching practice.  

Although the climate of our educational system may not support a “no child-ninja left behind” (NCNLB) approach, Chris' session will leave you with practical tools and strategies to make your school year a better one, or at least give you a few laughs.