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Subject: Curriculum availability for games rss

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Jacob Coon
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I am an Instructional designer and have 7 years of experience in a Middle school classroom and 3 years of experience in an informal science education setting.

The point of this post is to ask a question of all of the educators and publishers on the site. I was thinking about starting to write some curriculum for games to be used in the classroom.

Are there curriculums available for good quality games out there already?

Also would people be interested in something like this (if so, feel free to suggest games or if you are a publisher send me a geek mail to discuss)?

I'm not necessarily looking to make money from this (but I wouldn't turn it down either) but I don't want to waste time making something people won't use.

Thanks in advance!
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Bobby F.
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I'm just getting started organizing an activity room in my office where the goal is to use games and fun activities to enhance thought.

I'd love to see some work on this though don't have much input.
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Kathleen Mercury
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Are you thinking about lessons that incorporate specific games? You may want to look at Libraries Got Game by Brian Mayer. https://www.alastore.ala.org/detail.aspx?ID=2770 The book addresses specific games and how to use them in the classroom.

Could you explain a little more about what you're thinking you would produce?
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Jacob Coon
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Yeah, no problem. Basically I would be taking a specific game and crafting a curriculum around that fame so it can be taught along side the playing of the game in a classroom setting. It's funny you pointed me in the direction of that book because Freedom was the first game I was thinking about attempting.

My full idea would be to create lessons for different grade levels and topics that are covered in the game. Then the teacher can easily take what they want to use and leave the rest of it alone.

Does that explain things a bit better?
 
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Kathleen Mercury
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Yes, thanks. I think it's pretty ambitious--right on, man--and yet very specific. I think it's a good idea to focus on a game like Freedom (Brian's a really nice guy) because the Underground Railroad is an important topic that teachers always want to do justice to.

You may want to think about not just writing a lesson plan to use the game in the classroom, but ways teachers may be able to transform the game into a whole-class experience--ways to play with one class (as buying multiple copies is pretty expensive, and games may need more than one class period to play them in anyway) or how they can turn the game into a non-tabletop experience, if possible.

I have a website where I've posted materials I've created for my game design class. (Over the course of a semester, 7th grade gifted kids design a strategy game with full prototype and rulebook.) www.kathleenmercury.com

I'm long overdue for an update--this year has been cray-cray-crazy busy--but the one thing I feel like it's missing is an explanation of how games address common core. Reading and writing a rulebook addresses standards related to reading informative text and writing, but I haven't spent any time developing that section. Of course, as various state legislatures freak out over common core, mine included, I'm a little hesitant to spend significant time on it.

I think your project sounds really interesting.

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Phil Hendrickson
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If you develop learning modules around certain games, you want to share it with as many people as possible. For that I encourage you to look into posting modules at one of the Open Educational communities, where educators are already sharing LMs. That way your efforts can be appreciated (and used) beyond just the community of active gamers who are educators. To really grow the use of games in classrooms we have to get the materials out beyond the scope of BGG and those who know about it.
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Jacob Coon
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DrumPhil wrote:
If you develop learning modules around certain games, you want to share it with as many people as possible. For that I encourage you to look into posting modules at one of the Open Educational communities, where educators are already sharing LMs. That way your efforts can be appreciated (and used) beyond just the community of active gamers who are educators. To really grow the use of games in classrooms we have to get the materials out beyond the scope of BGG and those who know about it.


Any specific websites you would recommend?
 
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Andrea Ligabue
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I'm also using games in schools. I have wrote an articole about it onBoard Game Agent.

I just ordered the book suggested in this topic. thank you very much.

Liga
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Phil Hendrickson
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jacobjcoon wrote:
DrumPhil wrote:
If you develop learning modules around certain games, you want to share it with as many people as possible. For that I encourage you to look into posting modules at one of the Open Educational communities, where educators are already sharing LMs. That way your efforts can be appreciated (and used) beyond just the community of active gamers who are educators. To really grow the use of games in classrooms we have to get the materials out beyond the scope of BGG and those who know about it.


Any specific websites you would recommend?


A good place to begin looking is at Open Culture. They list a bunch of potential sties.

http://www.openculture.com/free_k-12_educational_resources
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Gregg Saruwatari
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I am a middle school educator and my personal opinion is that educating about process is more valuable than education about content. I would definitely check out Madame Mercury's resources and consider teaching game design as a process. This encourages critical thinking skills, socialization, researching and revising. Then, if you wish to incorporate a specific content area, you can have them design a game about that theme, or re-theme a game they already know to showcase their understanding.
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Kathleen Mercury
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GrimThunderbrew wrote:
I am a middle school educator and my personal opinion is that educating about process is more valuable than education about content. I would definitely check out Madame Mercury's resources and consider teaching game design as a process. This encourages critical thinking skills, socialization, researching and revising. Then, if you wish to incorporate a specific content area, you can have them design a game about that theme, or re-theme a game they already know to showcase their understanding.


Even something as simple as taking away the dice and having students come up with a simple action points system can shift a luck-based game into a decision-based game tremendously. Or give students a traditional game, and have them come up with a new ruleset or way to play with the materials. As an educator, it can be scary at first because you want to know how it will turn out ahead of time, and you really can't all the time. Not all students will be good at it or like it. However, giving students the opportunity to design their own game experiences allows students the potential to really surprise you (and themselves) with what they can come up with, and that is the hokey pokey--what it's all about.

The students have ownership over the process and their gameplay becomes more dependent on their choices, and thus more meaningful. I agree. ;)
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Andrea Ligabue
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I'm used to have courses for teacher explaning how games can be good to improve kids competences muche more than offering knowledges.

Tactics and Startegy are really important in life and work and is very difficult to teach/stimulatre in kids with standard lessons.

There are also really interesting studies on Executive Functions (working memory, inhibition and interference control) and connection with accademic results that show how this capacity can be improved in the 5-17 years range and it looks like games can be someway usefull for that. Search on the net for "Executive Functions" and Adele Diamond.

Another interseting approaceh, ad Madame Mercury suggest, is to make kids change/improve games changing the influence of luck and/or other aspects.

good play
Liga
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Shauna Smith
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I'd love to work with you. I am sorta in the opposite end of what you're doing. I provide educators with PDFs that allow them to create great games for their students (Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, etc). But I recognize that most teachers don't have the time to create full fledged great games.

I'd love to work with you. PM me. I can't pay much (I also do what I do as a labor of love). But would be willing to split the earnings with you. Most of my games are printable so the earnings wouldn't be substantial.


Shauna
http://instillingvalues.com
 
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