Geography: I did not go through and compile what the recognition rate of individual countries was after the game play. However, after a quick flip through of the papers I feel very safe in saying that the recognition of countries involved with the Sudetenland Crisis were up. Czechoslovakia was well recognized after game play. There is also an increase in recognition of Poland, Germany, and France.
General feelings about Making History. I did put a survey question on the post test for the game play group. Asking simply if they would like to play a game like Making History in another class. The answers were overwhelmingly in favor of doing so. This brings up some philosophical thoughts. Does the use of the game teach kids that learning can be fun or that a student will only learn if it is fun? Or is it a statement about our educational system? I have spoken about this in the past. State testing, corporation testing, state curriculum, corporation curriculum and many other factors are actually what drives the classroom. When do we have time to have fun? 36 chapters in my book and 36 weeks in a school year. Do the math…..there is little time for fun if we are going to cover everything we are “required” to cover.
Other games: After a conversation with a mom who has a 2nd grade child who plays Civ I went shopping. I almost took the plunge and bought Civ IV but I passed for some reason. I will surely get it soon. I was thinking about using it next year. In order to do that I have to 1. learn the game much better than I know now. 2. Change my thought process on a computer game needs to be able to be finished in class. 3. I need to find some money to buy copies for my classes. I read a bunch of stuff Kurt Squire has done with Civ and I think I can make it work in my classes. Muzzy Lane is also working on a Revolution to Republic content pack for Making History. Don’t know the release of that but it is something that will easily fit in my world history classes.