Educational Services

Gold Bug Interactive offers a range of services for schools, school districts, and organizations, including professional development, instructional and curriculum design, and workshops and events for kids and students. Our innovative approach leverages the principals of game-based learning, gamification, and game design to cultivate 21st century competencies and catalyze meaningful change. Our vision is shaped from work in K12 classrooms, academic research, teacher training, and ongoing collaborations with practitioners, schools, universities, and organizations around the world.

We believe:

Learners must be active, engaged, and emotionally involved.

Games can help us build better schools.

We learn best by doing

Dynamic environments can nourish passion and curiosity through play, production, and design.

Technology does not equal innovation.

Educators are designers

Students must have choice and voice

Media literacy and digital literacy are crucial skills.

Learning must be connected to the real world.

Learning must adapt to a rapidly changing world.


Guided by our participatory vision, our instructional designers create effective and meaningful learning experiences with a vast array of digital and analog resources, assessment strategies, and interactive artifacts. We design customized, standard-aligned curriculum for online, in-person, and hybrid learning environments.

Our approach engages learners with:

Choice and differentiated instruction

Gameful elements

Innovative assessment strategies


Production and artifact oriented assessment

Collaborative learning

Simulations, role-play, and real-world connections

Judicious use of digital games and simulations

Paz Mental Microlearning Courses

Paz Mental Microlearning Courses (in production)

Paz Mental commissioned Gold Bug to develop modular, micro-learning courses to train their extensive network of home care workers and nurses. Our unique transmedia world-building approach generates an immersive learning ecology that keeps users deeply engaged as they work through their personally tailored instructional journey. Our researched training techniques include interactive videos and artifacts, gameful content, responsive assessments, animations, 3D environments, and branching narratives.

Green Gather

Green Gather

We worked closely with Green Gather to build a full technology integration program from the ground up. The core challenge was to implement tools and practices that fit the school’s experiential and nature-based pedagogy. Our mission-aligned strategy was based on research and an extensive community diagnostic. We organized a series of talks for the school community to explain our process and goals, and invite feedback. Throughout, we advised the school on hardware, software, and IT staffing. A community of practice was fostered to support teachers and shift the culture, which included monthly training sessions and workshops. Today, Green Gather makes extensive use of technology to connect their students to nature, undertake citizen science projects, produce films and podcasts, and the community is comfortably using iPads with Nearpod, iNaturalist, Wakelet, Padlet, iMovie, Anchor, Comic Life, and Google Suites, among others. We are proud to have stewarded this remarkable transformation!



We designed interactive and gamified student engagement surveys for LessonLoop to fulfill their mission to amplify student voice. Our team carried out extensive preliminary research to develop an approach that effectively engages the target audience while meeting LessonLoop’s instructional goals. In addition to an array of fun and interactive features, students choose from a selection of survey aesthetics (or "vibes") to personalize their experience. The multimedia surveys include animations, feedback, progress bars, and an iconic brand character named Moopy.

Educational Services

Museum of Me

The Museum of Me unit was created by iThrive Game in partnership with expert teachers Dr. Paul Darvasi (Gold Bug Interactive/University of Toronto) and Dr. Matthew Farber (University of Northern Colorado's School of Teacher Education), and tested by teachers and students across the U.S. This high school SEL-focused language arts unit was designed with a universal design for learning (UDL) framework and includes an array of 21st Century assessment strategies. The unit was featured in EdSurge.

Gone Home

Gone Home

This groundbreaking curricular unit pioneered a model of how to incorporate a commercial digital game in high school curriculum. This exemplary unit for the digital age affords student agency, voice, and choice while reimagining how to engage learners and approach communications instruction in the 21st Century. The unit was featured in KQED’s Mindshift.

Identifying Leaves to Grow Knowledge, Skills, and Community

Identifying Leaves to Grow Knowledge, Skills, and Community

This STEM unit combines a leaf identification app called LeafSnap with Google My Maps. High school science students identify trees by their leaves and create a map-based neighborhood inventory to better understand the benefits of trees in urban centres, and how concerned community groups contribute to their welfare. The unit was featured in the Smithsonian’s Science Education Centre’s Citizen Science day.


We offer a range of in-person and online professional learning programs to energize educators and inspire them to reimagine what is possible. Our interactive workshops encourage participants to adopt 21st century mindsets, unlock creative potential, and invigorate their practice. Our design-centred approach is informed by our cutting-edge work with educators at the University of Toronto, UNESCO, and classrooms around the world. Participants will learn to:

Adopt a design mindset

Design dynamic and engaging instructional environments

Develop innovative and relevant standard-aligned curriculum

Enhance lessons and curriculum

Enhance lessons and curriculum

Develop novel and relevant assessment practices

Effectively integrate technology

Better engage students in meaningful learning activities

Integrate game-based learning and gamification

Develop skills to find interactive tools and games onlinen

Every educational culture is unique, so we tailor our programs to meet the individual needs of each organization, school, and district. Contact us to discuss how we can help you meet your objectives.


We offer interactive digital and media literacy workshops for children and adolescents. Through our programs, participants will learn how to distinguish fact from fiction, prioritize information on the web, understand the consequences of data sharing on the Internet and social media, explore issues of privacy and surveillance, and learn how computers and the cloud work. We can also tailor workshops for specific needs using our playful design methodologies.

Blind Protocol

Blind Protocol

Co-designed with John Fallon, Blind Protocol is an embodied cyber-warfare simulator that pits two schools against one another in a series of international cyber engagements. While contending with a rogue AI, two parallel groups of young recruits explore issues of privacy and surveillance while building artifacts, collecting bitcoins, and launching protocols to unmask the identity and location of their opponents.

Electronic disobedience

Electronic disobedience

A series of gamified workshops to create art and robotic installations. We encouraged youth to reflect on problematic aspects of electronics such as how computers and mobile phones are physically closed, enigmatic, and often un-repairable devices, whose destiny is to rot when the new model appears. We exhibited their works of art in three museums in Mexico City: CCD, Fabrica El Rule, and CNA.

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