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Friday Recap: packed full of inspiration and freebies

This is a SPECIAL Friday because for many of you, it represents the kick off to the holiday season and a little vacation time. Here is a recap of what I’ve been up to when I haven’t been blogging at iLearn Technology: Tales 2 Go has a special FREE subscription for teachers happening right now, hurry your buns over there and download it now!  All the details are on my other blog iPad Curriculum. Send Felicity is inspiring imagination and creativity right now, head over for some MAGIC this holiday season (FREE of course ).  Again, details are on my iPad Curriculum blog.  Send Felicity is a must visit even if you don’t have an iDevice, the creativity is available to everyone! Education Doesn’t Need Any More Nip Tuck: Our Normal Approach is Useless Here a post about re-imagining education on my blog of Dreams of Education. Hijacked Words is a post about the “Digital Native” and “Digital Immigrant” on my blog Dreams of Education. Isn’t There Anyone Who Knows What Education is All About? a post on Dreams of Education inspired by A Charlie Brown Christmas. Don’t forget to check out the FREE ebook that was released this week: The Super Book of Web Tools for Educators. This ebook is absolutely packed full of excellent ideas for k-12 (including ELL!).  The ebook is not to be missed.  If you want to give your colleagues a great gift without breaking the bank, share this ebook with them! The December issue of Project PLN is out!  Be sure to check out these web favorites submitted by educators. January’s Project PLN topic: Every new year brings a new commitment to who we are. We set goals to accomplish to make ourselves better people. In education, it is no different. We want to know what your goals are for making education better for you, your students and everyone around you. Education reform is going to continue to be a hot topic, so let’s show the world what teachers are going to do help. Feel free to contact though email projectpln10@gmail.com or Twitter @projectPLN. We would love to have your thoughts ready to share by January 8th. Thanks again for your continued support of Project PLN.We hope you enjoy the holiday season.

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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

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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.

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