October 12

Use of Games in the Classroom Classtools

Click here for Industrial Tech Game

I’ve just been trying out ClassTools.net, which is a website where you can easily make interactive flash games with no knowledge of flash programming. I think this is a great idea to make interactive content for your classes very easily. The game above took about 5 minutes to make, and  is easily accessible for both teachers, and even very young students.

The above game is simply the syllabus dot points of one of our topics that we do “Government requirements of Industry” for Industrial Technology. Basically, it’s just the first 3 industry study factors. All I had to do was type in (copy and paste) the dot points in the syllabus into different categories, and hit create. The website then creates the interactive game. Knowing a fair amount about flash programming, this would have taken me a couple of hours to do if not for this website.

They also have a number of different templates that you can use, including a labelling, timeline and venn diagram that looks very useful. It’s so easy that you could even get students to create games themselves and then get them to submit them to a wiki, and students can play each others games.

November 22

Affinity Diagramming/Card Sorting

A PEEL Strategy that I learnt to do from the Usability Research branch of the University of Technology, Sydney was Affinity Diagramming. UTS/Usability labs used this to summarise primary research, where important points within the research were placed onto post-it notes, and then sorted and categorised into different sections. I found this really useful, and have since used it for any research or essay I have written.

I recently stumbled across this post (link) in the Content Literacy Ning which inspired me to write about my experiences.

I have also used it quite extensively within the classroom. Students are presented with different information resources on a topic, and a packet of different coloured postit notes. Students are asked to record each of the main concepts that are presented within their resource on a separate note. Students then group their cards into related categories by physically moving them around. They then summarise the information within each category into a paragraph, using the category as their topic sentence and post-it notes as supporting information.

This PEEL strategy is used to teach students how to analyse and synthesise information obtained from multimedia resources. It teaches students essay and extended response writing skills and how to organize information into categories. This strategy aids all ability levels, particularly students who struggle with the organisation of information, Kinesthetic learners benefit from this strategy, as they more effectively learn when given the opportunity to move out of their seat and physically interact with the content. Similarly, this strategy assists visual learners who have the ability to visually conceptualise the information and therelationships between components assisting the retention of content information. By simultaneously catering for various academic abilities and multiple intelligences, this activity identifies itself as a learning strategy that can promote effective learning.

Image Attribution: http://flickr.com/photos/cannedtuna/1423599488/