Teach Through Play: Minecraft
I intend to use the Teach Through Play series to provide ideas on how teachers can educate through games. In this blog post I want to talk about teaching history through Minecraft.
Minecraft is an interesting game. Most popular games rely on action. Minecraft relies on a creative mind. The creative minds who play Minecraft have come up with many things. From simple block houses…
to historical monuments… Read more ›
Creating the Art of Jade
The art and progress for completing our teams first post-Zeebi project has been coming along, and today I’m going to post a very brief rundown of the artistic process for creating the character. One of the primary goals for my work was to feature high-quality art for our games, at least more than what is usually seen in the average educational title. Early on I created some illustrations for the characters, just trying to work out the flow and style for everyone. Going from some rough sketches to something more illustrative.
Read more ›
The Theory of Prior Knowledge
“Read the following paragraph once through, and then read the questions at the bottom before re-reading the paragraph. Then fill in the answers.”
Most of us are familiar with these instructions. We saw them on the SATs, on reading comprehension quizes, and sometimes even heard them repeated by teachers. But why is re-reading considered so valuable? What are students expected to get out of the paragraph that we couldn’t see the first time? Read more ›
Our Games Work!
I’m a certified teacher in the state of Massachusetts. Currently, I spend a portion of my time teaching Pre-K. In the classroom, I’ve used PBnGames’ AlphaBuddy, an educational video game which asks students to find and press letters on the keyboard, on a couple of occasions. Both times it was very well received.
(left) The colors roll down the screen until (right) a letter appears!
Push that letter and hear the audience cheer! Hooray!
Like a guest speaker, an educational video game brings a fresh voice into the classroom. It can teach material from a new perspective.
My personal experience is this: Yesterday, October 2nd, I was teaching a lesson on sounding out letters of the alphabet. Our game, AlphaBuddy, was a natural companion. As the letters appeared on the screen children took turns sounding out the letter and then pushing the letter on the keyboard. In the game, a correct answer yields a very satisfying cheer – a sound the children were eager to replicate. After each child had a turn, we went outside to play.
We’ll play AlphaBuddy again in the future, as every child wanted to keep playing. I think my experiences epitomize why educational video games should be tools for all teachers. They enrich the educational process while keeping it fun and appealing.