Emerging Technology #4: What2Learn
I know that I blogged about a learning game website for my last post, but I came across this site while looking for ideas in teaching vocabulary and absolutely had a blast while playing here. What2Learn is a website that allows the teacher to make much more interactive games for students. For the one I made (see above) the students navigate through a maze in the first person perspective, trying to find computers to answer questions which I wrote. Students can also fight zombies, collect cows, or save space monkeys, in addition to a number of other random but enticing scenarios. They are just the type of goofy games my high school students like, though I can adjust their difficulty with my own questions, so while they’re chasing clownfish through a reef, they can be answering questions about metaphors or characterization or even Dante’s Inferno, if I so choose.
But the best part of this website isn’t the fun games or that I can feel cool for having my questions in a game reminiscent of the old Doom games (sans the violence), it’s that my students sign in and play, and I can see their scores on every game. A few minutes left in the computer lab? Have them play and see where their deficiencies are in vocab and in fighting zombies. It’s win-win. We can find out if they are picking up the vocabulary and if we can rely on them during a zombie uprising.
There are 4 drawbacks I see in this site, however.
1. All of the games are multiple choice, fill in the blank, or hangman style. It’s understandable considering the format of the games, but as an English teacher, I don’t rely too heavily on these in the classroom. Then again, I do still have creative control over the types of answers and how difficult I make them.
2. All the games have time limits that cannot be adjusted. Saves students from playing FOREVER, but doesn’t allow for students who just need a little more time.
3. You cannot adjust the number of questions. My students had 20 vocabulary words, but I can only put 8 into the game above, so I had to pick and choose the ones I thought might be most difficult.
3. They cannot be played offline.
With those exceptions accepted, this site provides fun review games that I would post on my wiki beside the flipcards for their vocabulary (see last post). It could also be fun for students to create their own games and post them on their wikipages or blogs (depending on which you use in your classroom).