The Friday Five: Fun & Games!

Maybe it will be a five minute video, five resources, or something else that fits with five, but this week, the Friday Five is back. With the shift for so many to distance learning or physically distancing (hopefully sill finding ways to be social from 6+ feet away), it is important to find ways to still have fun! With that in mind here are five resources focusing on gamification, gaming, and some fun with learning. Cheers to Friday and having some fun!

Jeopardy Labs has been a favorite of mine for a long time. Great for teams as it can keep score, Jeopardy Labs supports synchronous group or solo play and could be fun in a virtual meeting or class.

Wisc-Online’s Game Builder offers 20 different game templates for creators to start from, and their “Arcade” has many games created by the community, organized by subject.

PurposeGames has pre-made games but also has seven different types of games/quizzes users can create (including a favorite of mine, the image quiz!)

If you have a little more time, creating a Digital Breakout can be fun and a good challenge for students, even to solve virtually! The grad students I taught last fall had a blast the night we featured a Digital Breakout during our small group time! BreakoutEDU has a game template to get started, but Tom Mullaney created a great template and a Google Search for “Breakout with Google Sites and Forms” will result in more examples, print instructions, and video tutorials.

Finally, it seems to be remiss to not remind, we can always see if we can travel back in time and survive the (virtual) Oregon Trail! Even the high school students I know have lost themselves in this one for a while.

Remember stay safe, and caulk the wagon!

New interactives from the Library of Congress!

Screen Shot 2017-11-17 at 1.51.05 PMI love being able to teach with interactives and simulations. They give students a new way to explore material and help it “stick.” Today the Library of Congress announced  three new interactive projects funded by LOC grants and they look really cool! Eagle Eye Citizen is for middle and high school students focusing on US History, civics and government and promotes civic understanding and historical thinking skills. Engaging Congress has several game-based interactives looking at representative government, and KidCitizen allows K-5 learners to explore history. All three interactive programs utilize primary sources from the Library of Congress. Love it!

Textivate – Fun on a Friday!

ImageHow about  quick way to create up to 44 different activities based on up to 500 words?  Find your favorite vocab list and head to Textivate. Once the words are pasted into the box on the Textivate page, generate the desired activity. There is even a “?” that can be clicked so the user can get directions if s/he needs help.

This would be fun to use in so many classes – really anything with vocabulary, matching, math problems and answers, events, it could be used for almost anything text-based.

iCivics: Win the White House

My 3rd hour and I are in the computer lab right now. To hear conversations like, “I came back and took the lead…”  “I just took California!”  “Can you fundraise in a purple state?” “Is it better to oppose…do whatever you can, if you’re supporting that issue…” “I am at 208 [electoral votes] and I need 270…” I love it!!  Normally my goal is to never post a second time about a site, but if the site adds new things that are wonderful, they are worth a post and “Win the White House” from Sandra Day O’Connor’s iCivics site is impressing me. It takes the students through each phase of a campaign for the White House. For the past three days we have discussed the presidential election process and Super Tuesday. This semester I also found YouTube videos showing the opening minutes of the Democratic National Convention, a news broadcast wrapping up the 2008 Republican Convention, and a 3 minute clip showing Georgia casting its votes at the DNC. Students really responded well to the video clips, something I had not tried in the past.  (A copy of the presentation we used in class with the links to the above mentioned video clips and more is available here.)

My student Michael said I could post the photo of him playing our game in class, I thank him for that.