Try1Want to be a game-changer in education? eXPlore the creative and engaging waters of game inspired course design learning with me at your next event! I will equip you with practical skills in gamification whether you’re looking for an all-day, idea-packed workshop, a motivational keynote about the new world of education, or simply one of my many diverse, topic-specific conference sessions.


I will engage, enrich and elevate your participants with tailored presentations and trainings that include powerful take-aways for incorporating gamification into the classroom.  Gamification and game-based teaching methods are accessible to anyone interested in expanding student engagement and content acquisition.  No matter if you are low tech, high tech or totally no tech, I will take you on an exploration of your own gameable classroom and leave you with the map, the cargo and the wonderlust to transform your teaching and your students’ learning.


I have traveled across the U.S. and talked with thousands of educators that are searching to elevate the creative potential within themselves and their students.  Game inspired course design is effective because it engages today’s students across all subject areas and demographics. My game-based pedagogy will enhance what you are already doing in your classroom by layering over the already existing content and giving students diverse opportunities for self-directed learning. Invite me to your event, and I will navigate you through the fundamentals of this innovative method for making learning tangible and filled with purpose-driven learning outcomes that extend beyond the classroom.  


Contact me at for more information about how together we can eXPlore the powerful and motivating world of gamification in the classroom.

My book, eXPlore Like a PIRATE: Gamification and Game-Inspired Course Design to Engage, Enrich, and Elevate Your Learners, is currently available on Amazon. Contact for information on bulk purchase prices or distribution deals.

Keynotes and Presentations

Explore Like a Pirate

Join 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.

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 opportunities to define their talents, their passions, and their desires to leave legacies. And then brace yourself, matey, for the thrill it will ignite in you as you follow the call to imagine, design, and grow within a content-filled and experience-rich classroom in the New World.

Now, what will your story be?

Explore Like a Pirate Workshop

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 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

Start leveling 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. 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 adventure.

Purpose Driven Learning

What is the PURPOSE of school? Hint… it’s not good grades! Learn how to take the focus off of content knowledge, can give your students’ education lasting purpose!

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? The Keys of Purpose Driven Learning can be developed in every subject area to help students reach their fullest potential.

Together, we will explore the possibilities when our classroom work toward action oriented words rather than just the letters.

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, as well as unlock talents in ourselves through leveled challenges. Together we can bring these elements into our schools. Educators who effectively use game theory, thinking and practice in their course design will see their students in a new light. Learn how to start crafting your gamified classroom to help build your student creativity, courage and clarity of content.

Beyond the Badge: Mechanics To Build Up Your Gamification Toolbox

Start leveling 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. 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 adventure.

Mini Games: Unlocking The Potential Of Play

Together we will explore how to build engagement through creative play in low-tech to no-tech classrooms as well as in digitally rich environments.  Mini games give units and lessons the extra pop and sizzle that drives home your content and builds collaboration. So lets roll up our sleeves, and apply a creative 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 your own rich experience for your students. Come ready to learn and earn your way through this workshop as you will be unlocking your ideas and your students’ potential.

Game Based Learning: Putting the Game Pieces Together

Exploring the possibilities of games in education. We will look at all sorts of possibilities to bring playful learning into your classroom. This session will include many examples of games you could use to teach content as well as life skills. With playful learning we are allowing the 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 a after school club around games. It will give you practical tips as to how to start, where to find funding, and what games to get. Trust me, 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 and more while learning through challenging play. 

Game Jam – Building a Fun Future Together

Michael Matera will teach how to host and run a game jam. Game jams give participants random bits and pieces to create new games. These can focus on content and push peoples out of the box of boredom and into a creative space. Learning how to use these in your school, class or corporation could help unlock your players’ potential. 

Join the Crew

Join the #XPLAP mailing list to receive extra tips and tricks about exploring the seas of gamification. Additionally, you might just be part of a treasure hunt. 

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Join the Crew... & Get a Free Google Tool

Join the Explore Like a Pirate Crew to get your free Digital Trivia tool for a great way to spice up any classroom, District PD or event. Additionally, you will get the lastest XPLAP news and other speical info delivered right to you. Sign up today and start playfully planning your next lesson. 

Check your email to confirm and you will get access to the treasure you seek! Thanks for joining the crew!

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