Featured Post

Responsibly: Gift Wine to Fund Education

What it is: Responsibly is a new way to gift your friends, released just in time for the holiday season.  Purchase Responsibly wine for your friends and 100% of the purchase price gets donated to a Donor’s Choose project.  Talk about killing two birds with one stone!  It works with 3 easy steps: 1. Go to Facebook and choose which friends you want to gift. 2. Friends are encouraged to pay it forward by gifting their friends. 3. Funds are matched and donated to fund a Donor’s Choose project. Cool huh?  I love gifts that are further reaching than just the physical gift given.  Not only will you be spreading cheer to your friends, you will be spreading cheer and learning to classrooms and students everywhere.  That is a big deal. From the about page (because I couldn’t have said it better myself!): Responsibly is creating a platform for social philanthropy. We have created a mechanism that allows individuals to simultaneously share with friends and give back to society. We at Responsibly believe that doing good and feeling good do not have to be mutually exclusive. By connecting products in which 50% of the price tag funds corporate matched projects validated by Donors Choose, we can proudly say that 100% of whatever you spend at Responsibly.com will go towards helping our children get a step closer to the gaining access to the education they deserve. Coupling this with the social network that Facebook has created, hopefully, you can help inspire others to contribute to this cause. One of the things that continues to astound me is the way that social networking is being used to change the world.  I see this on a regular basis through Twitter, organizations like Donor’s Choose, TED and the movements that it spurs, and now Responsibly.  Genius I tell you! What are you waiting for?  Head on over to Responsibly now and start gifting, spreading the word, and making the world a better place. Side note: I am talking with Responsibly about how they might be involved in helping to make #TwitAcad (scroll down for all posts that mention this)  a reality.  Now we are talking!

Read More

Playfic: create, play and remix text-based games

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, collaboration, Create, Evaluate, History, Interactive book, Language Arts, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 08-01-2013

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

0

What it is: Playfic is a site that let’s users create, play and remix online text-based games.  I may have lost some of you already…but don’t leave yet! A text-based game is a genre of game that uses no graphics or sound, but instead, uses text to tell a story in an interactive world.  Think of a choose your own adventure tech-style.  Students can create a story that others can interact with by directing the story using words and phrases.  As an example, the story might be about a forest, describing what you can see East, West, North and South.  The player would type in a direction “East”, hit the return key, and the story progresses.  You can try out a sample text-based game here.

How to integrate Playfic into the classroom: Playfic has all kinds of good stuff for classrooms.  To create a story, students must first learn a little bit of coding.  Tutorials are included on the Playfic site, and are easy enough to get your students up and running in no time.  There is even a link to an Inform 7 (coding language) recipe book that will have your students dreaming up new scenarios and actively researching how to make them come to life.  Students can create games for each other while strengthening their writing and grammar skills.  This is wonderful for fictitious writing, but could also be used for students to explore “what ifs” in history and science.  Students can take a moment in time and dream up what might have been different about the world if the event hadn’t happened the way that it had.  As they are researching and learning about the actual event, they will also be analyzing why the event is important and critically thinking about it’s impact on the world we live in.  Similarly, students could explore a science experiment, hypothesizing what will happen and the different outcomes that might occur.

Teachers could create these choose your own adventure stories for students for new learning or review of a topic.  Wouldn’t it be cool to have a story using sight word vocabulary that prompted practice with the sight words?

I know a handful of students who really struggle with writing…it is PAINFUL.  These students are brilliant. They have great ideas to share. One of the students I have in mind came up to me today and said, “over break I taught myself Lua (programming language).”  Students like these will be all over this type of writing.  What a cool way to engage them and excite them about the writing process in a new way.

One of the things that I really like about Playfic is that it takes a lot of planning, organizing, and thought to create this type of story.  For some students the planning/organizing portion of writing is a real struggle.  This site would be so useful in teaching students the importance of those steps.  I also love that it will have them researching and looking up solutions for how to make their ideas come to life.  Just like we do every day in the “real world.”

Tips: The Inform 7 Recipe book can be found here. 

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using  Playfic in your classroom.

Write a comment

*