It is hard to believe but this is my 4th year of using Making History from Muzzy Lane Software in my classroom. We started playing the game yesterday and the excitement level of kids is the same as every other year…..very high. More chatter about history class happens because of this game than anything else I do during the year. Heck….our computer lab has windows that look out to the rest of the media center….and I had kids watching from the other side of the windows….salivating…..wanting to come in and play.
Was the day smooth? No, we had some tech issues early in the day to deal with. I found a suitable solution so the second half of the day worked much better. But that is the art of teaching….your plans are only as good as all the factors included in them….when one part breaks, is absent, or gets moved for a school convo…then the teacher has to mod his or her plans. Is what I am doing this year ideal or best practices….no….but it is working so we are running with it.
I have blogged many times about the use of this game and said many good things about it and other games in the classroom. However, what is discouraging about computer games in the classroom is how they have only increased slightly in the last four years. I talk to people every month who have heard about what I do. They like it. They are interested. And some even start using a game or two. But why are teachers not using games and technology to teach? Every teacher desk has a computer on it……most schools have a computer lab…some have multiple labs. Kids homes have multiple computers in them. We take attendance with the computer, lunch counts with the computer, make bus schedules and master class schedules with computers, we make airline reservations with computers, print off boarding passes with computers, make car rentals with the computer, shop on the internet, turn our lights on and off with a computer, run our HVAC with a computer……but we teach with a white board and a marker……..does that seem right??????????? Sorry about the rant but it just doesn’t seem right. We live in a tech world….we produce factory model kids……I think we need to change…..quicker.