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Posts tagged ‘game’

GameOn World: Geography game that plays like Kahoot

If you love Kahoot – and who doesn’t – you’re gonna love Game On.

The idea is simple. Start a game. Students browse to gameon.world on any smart device. Share a pin number with your students. Start the game. Project questions and images onto a screen. Students view questions on screen. They answer the questions on their device. Students see the results on the large screen.

And here’s the cool part. While there are a variety of topics, you can choose to focus on geography and history facts. Read more

I’ve got a new fav. It’s called Timeline and it’s awesome

It seems like I have a new favorite of some kind pretty much every week. And so, yes, today I have a new favorite game. I found it at the MidAmerica Nazarene Center for Games & Learning – the CGL is hosting their first conference today and I had the chance to do a couple of cool things as a part of the event.

One of the things I got to do today was to deliver the opening keynote. We had a great time having a conversation about how play and board games can be an important part of instruction and learning. I also had the opportunity to participate in a couple of breakout sessions.

The first session was hosted by Assistant Professor of History Elizabeth Horner. Elizabeth was one of the bleeding edge practitioners on the MNU campus who volunteered to integrate game-based learning – specifically the use of tabletop games – into her spring 2015 semester.

She led a conversation this morning focused on her experience using tabletop games to teach world and US history. She suggested that there are three ways to use games in classroom: Read more

Educational buzzwords, gamification, and Classcraft

It often seems as if K-12 education is nothing but buzz words. Problem-based learning. SAMR. Close reading. College and Career. Flipped classroom. Disruptive technology. BYOD. Data driven. MOOC.

We’re good at that stuff.

Administrators read a book or attend a conference and next thing you know . . . a new program or initiative with a hour of “training” at the next staff meeting. Sometimes there’s so many buzzwords flying around, it’s just easier sometimes to ignore all of them. I get that. As schools, we’re great on jumping on the latest trend and not always following through in the long term.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean that all buzzwords are bad. I think most admin types, and all of you trend following classroom folks as well, do it for a reason. You all want the best for your kids, you’re all looking for what works, for ideas and strategies that might make a difference.

So I think it’s okay to throw out another one. Read more

Gerrymandering, teaching government & the Redistricting Game

I just got off the phone with a high school government teacher who was looking for a way to have kids learn/review state and federal powers. That conversation eventually led to back to my Delicious account and some of my video game favorites.redistrict game

I had forgotten about a great sim that we used several years ago called The Redistricting Game:

The Redistricting Game is designed to educate, engage, and empower citizens around the issue of political redistricting. Currently, the political system in most states allows the state legislators themselves to draw the lines. This system is subject to a wide range of abuses and manipulations that encourage incumbents to draw districts which protect their seats rather than risk an open contest.

By exploring how the system works, as well as how open it is to abuse, The Redistricting Game allows players to experience the realities of one of the most important (yet least understood) aspects of our political system. The game provides a basic introduction to the redistricting system, allows players to explore the ways in which abuses can undermine the system, and provides info about reform initiatives – including a playable version of the Tanner Reform bill to demonstrate the ways that the system might be made more consistent with tenets of good governance. Beyond playing the game, the web site provides a wealth of information about redistricting in every state as well as providing hands-on opportunities for civic engagement and political action.

Basically, players are asked to decide new congressional district boundaries in a variety of ways using authentic characters and situations. Seems a bit tame but kids do enjoy the give and take (and the winning and losing!) of finding ways of getting what they want and solving problems.

And yes . . . it is a very specific example of state vs. federal powers but because of the power of the simulation, kids get a nice emotional connection to the concept. There are also some nice teacher resources and ideas.

The added bonus? It’s fun!

“Video games are the future in education”

National Public Radio recently posted an interview between Will Wright and Dr. E. O. Wilson.EOwilson

Wilson is professor emeritus at Harvard University and biologist, is a two-time Pulitzer-winning ant expert who helped develop theories of island biogeography, chemical ecology, and sociobiology. A leader in the modern environmental movement, Wilson has devoted his life to understanding how all forms of life are connected.WillWright

Wright is famous for creating The Sims, the best selling video game in history and Spore, a recent game incorporating many science themes. One of Wright’s first games, SimAnt, is based partially on the work of Wilson.

During the conversation, the first question Wright asked was if Wilson saw a role for games in the educational process.

I’ll go to an even more radical position,” Wilson said. I think games are the future in education. We’re going through a rapid transition now. We’re about to leave print and textbooks behind.

Wilson elaborated further:

. . . for the most part, we are teaching children the wrong way. When children went out in Paleolithic times, they went with adults and they learned everything they needed to learn by participating in the process. That’s the way the human mind is programmed to learn.

Wilson also suggested that virtual reality “can be a steppingstone to the real world.”

This is nothing new. More experts are saying the same thing about the power of games and simulations as learning engines.

But what I enjoyed was the ability of both men to have a conversation that integrated science into a variety of other fields. I don’t think we do this enough in our classrooms. Too often, our conversations and work is focused on a narrow range – names, dates, places, people – without giving kids a chance to explore the relationships between our content and literature, for example.

Listening to the conversation was a good reminder about how important it is for kids to see history as a story connected to a much bigger world.


Image sources – en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._O._Wilson, http://www.flickr.com/photos/sketch22/420745216