At first I did not think that this is game was very practical for the classroom, especially with younger students. As the teacher I would definitely want to be there with them and go through the process together to speed things along. After I got a better understanding I came to really enjoy the game and think it has a lot of benefits. The students would be able to build their own costume character which I believe they would enjoy. I also like the aspects of different realms and worlds with varying difficulties. This gives them a challenge and motivation to try and complete a realm or level to get to the next one.
I did some research on what other things students can learn further along in the game . They are able to explore mysteries, greek mythology characters, the solar system, human skeleton, mammals, and more throughout different realms and worlds of the game. I like this game and what it has to offer. I think if I were going to use this in my classroom I would have it available during a “free choice” time or during computer class sometimes.
During my second exploration I realized there was way more than just the realms. This game is also full of different worlds! Each world has 3 different levels each harder than the last. I completed the Reality Tv: Wild Safari level. In that world I competed against 3 other characters to win a reality tv show. After winning I received coins that I could unlock more worlds with. The challenge took me about 20 minutes so students could start one during free time and pick it up later!
When choosing an appropriate video game to use in your classroom, there are a lot of things that must be considered. First and foremost it must be appropriate for both the curriculum and development level. The game should not be too challenging as to discourage students to engage or too simply that the students are bored. The game should be fun and be connected to the curriculum. Teachers should work with one another to exchange ideas and feelings about games to see what will work best in the classroom. As a teacher I would play the game before my students to make sure it checks off these boxes.
The game I have chosen to explore is Poptropica. I have never played this game before but I heard about it from another teacher’s (Dr. Shutkin) list of games. When I first opened the website I was overwhelmed with everything happening. There were a lot of ads and I wasn’t quite sure where to start. I think going forward and if I were to use this in my classroom I would definitely download the app to avoid this confusion. Once I set my character up and created a username and password the game began. I had no idea what the character purpose was or where I was supposed to go in this virtual world. In previous games I’ve played similar to this there has always been some sort of introduction to what the goal of the game is, how to use the controls, etc. Needless to say I was lost. After having my character jump around explore for a little, I discovered the purpose. There are different realms to travel to all which have different missions. I completed one realm which involved a lot of problem solving and exploration to achieve the goal.
This is a screenshot of the different realms you can visit.
In mine and everyone’s education experience there have been required tests. Whether it was a simple spelling exam or the ACT. Standardized testing can be very frustrating for students who struggling with tests because of anxiety or other setbacks. The goal of the No Child Left Behind act is to provide students with the same standards across the state through equal education. The problem with this is that the funding goes to schools that are achieving these standards and takes money away from schools that are not. The idea sounds awesome that every student would receive the same education but for the students who have to attend schools with less resources how is it possible to hold them to the same standard as a very affluent and well resourced school. For me I felt I was at an advantage taking my ACT because I am blessed enough to afford for the prep books and a one on one tutor. I was also able to take the exam more than once. For a student who does not have access to these resources because of the family income they are immediately at a disadvantage in taking a test that determines so much of your future. This is simply not fair. For everyone to have an equal education everyone also has to have the same access to outside of the classroom resources. I do not know how this would be possible but it is so important but for starters I think that funding should not be given to schools just because of their students scores. I think we should be focusing on schools that actually need the money to help their students succeed.
We are not born with prejudices of gender they are learned. From a young age we are categorized into either male or female based on physical and biological appearances and with this comes the stereotypes for both genders. In our world today the movement is stronger than ever to break down these stereotypes. As educators we can “dismantle these socially invented categories” of male-female or gay-straight stereotypes in multiple ways. For starters at a young age if a child decides he or she would like to play “dress up” for example in what is typically that of the other gender the teacher should allow this and be as excited about it as the student is. Another easy solution could be instead of separating the class by gender just have the students always count off by numbers. In my elementary and middle school everyone had to wear a uniform which consisted of the same style of pants and polos. This could help students feel more comfortable with themselves and not feel like an outsider based on their sexual orientation or how they chose to define themselves through clothes because everyone dressed the same.
The African American culture according to Spring is considered the “dominated culture.” This means they were forcefully incorporated into the Untied States. Their culture and people were under the control of the U.S. This process had tremendous effects on them in many ways. In education, even today, African American students and their culture in general faces language barriers and the difficulties of biculturalism. For example many African Americans speak in African American Vernacular English but since in America Caucasian is predominate they are often forced to adapt to a new way of speaking in order to be accepted and successful. The Irish culture on the other hand is, as Spring refers to it, an immigrant culture. This is described as “the first generation of groups who freely decided to come to the United States.” This culture has not faced nearly as many struggles especially in education. One way to help eliminate prejudice is to eliminate “white washing” in textbooks. When we don’t fact check what we are teaching our students we could be giving them wrong and potentially racially insensitive information. There was a case of the famous protest by Rosa Parks being taught to students as her being “tired after a long day of work.” This is a perfect example of white washing.