What games to you remember playing in a school setting? Were the games motivation or did they increase stress?
I have both positive and negative memories of playing review games in class. Although I enjoyed the games, it was not motivation to study. I was intrinsically motivated. Many of the negative experiences came from loopholes with games or frustration with the group game process. Playing online games eliminates the ever shifting rules of the game. Once a rule is set, the computer doesn’t care who is answering the question. Correct answers will still be correct, and wrong is still a wrong answer. If I had the chance to create the games, either independently or in a group, I would have been a lot more invested in the game playing process – and overlooked the discomfort of group games.
I have been compiling a list of game creation tools – since games and simulations are the topic for this week’s class, I thought it would be perfect to reflect in this blog post. There is frequent discussion about the use of games in education. There are many studies that show games can increase motivation of students. Luckily for us teachers with little free time, technology makes it easy to create review games about almost any topic. There are traditional crossword puzzles for vocab, dustbin game for categorization of information, the classic jeopardy for knowledge questions, etc.
My criteria for game creation tools – it needs to take less time to create than the students will spend playing it. So using a program like Scratch to create a completely original game is not practical. There are many templates free to use (or for a small yearly fee). Listed below is a collection of game resources I have found. If anyone knows additional game creation tools I would love to know about them. The game key explains what features the website offers for creating, saving, and using the games. There are so many resources out there, that everyone can find a favorite go-to for a quick lesson idea.
You do not need to re-invent the wheel. You just need to write the content that is placed in the wheel.
Last random thought: my technology goal for next year is to have the students involved in the game creation process. Most teachers have enough responsibilities with planning to worry about creating a game for every situation. Many of the tools listed below do not require registration – and some of the tools that do require registration will work with a Facebook login, which many of the students already have. I think the personal investment of having created the game would increase motivation. I have done this on a voluntary basis, and the results normally exceed my expectations.
- link able to link directly to the activity
- <embed> able to grab embed code
- options types of games/review activities
- free or fee
- flashcards searchable by topic
- free flashards; pay for upgrade to Byki deluxe
- multimedia multiple choice quizzes
- personality quizzes
- free or fee
- brain games
- Space Race
- quiz-busters (easy to play/create if you read the directions)
- save to computer