Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Just A Tease

Alright, I admit it… that was a bad idea. I was just feeling bad for not posting, so I figured that re-introducing old posts would suffice. My bad.

Anyway, it’s the end of the semester now. These are not fun times, I assure you. I have two 15-20 page papers, one with an annotated bibliography, two seven pagers, one project on the program Comic Life, one book project (which includes making a poster, duh), two seven page (single-spaced) responses, two books of literary criticism to read and teach, and one Lit. Circle book left to read and discuss all of which are due in two weeks. Additionally, I have to do all of this while upholding my responsibilities to my Assistantship and ENG 307. I don’t like to think about it.

A while back I wrote a post about Bruce Coville’s visit to my 619 class. It was a well-developed and inspirational post; however, I couldn’t post it the day I wrote it (because Blogger was being Lame) and is now officially M.I.A. If I come across it again, I’ll post it.

I also want to write about my new-fangled experiences with pedagogical classes, such as Issues in the Foundations of Education. It seems like those education majors are a different type of breed than that of what I am used to. I would love to explain more but doing so now would only postpone my work on the aforementioned list; it would also be detrimental to my G.P.A. I won’t allow it.

Plus, I’m already assuring myself to have most of this done by next Friday in order to attend the Brand New concert here at good ol’ Cortland.

For those who missed me… this post is for you.


Saturday, April 07, 2007

A New Idea

Because I am so busy, I've decided that it would be a good idea to post some of the ideas that I've discussed on my previous blog, ray's so-called career. I won't be publishing to this blog anymore, so I don't want to lose the ideas that I had; therefore, it would make sense for me to do this.

Also, as you probably noticed, I've decided to re-name this blog. I figured that this title is much more appropriate. And, considering that I'm combining the two, t just made sense.

So, here's a post that I published about a seven months ago. I thought this was interesting; let me know what you think.

I'll also include the original comments and it's original location.

Grammar Blaster?
Tuesday, September 12, 2006

While I was reading Grand Theft Education, all I could think about was the game Math Blaster

It’s a ‘B’ Day*, seventh period, there’s only ten minutes left, everyone’s squirming out of their seats… but why? There are still two, long, periods left in the day, before they can go home.

Well, eighth period was more-or-less like another lunch period; every student looks forward to lunch. After History with Mr. INSERT NAME I FORGOT HERE, the pupils who had Computer Lab on ‘B’ days would dash over to room 110C. In this classroom, we would have the opportunity to take part in a few select activities. It wasn’t like the other classes, not as tedious and uninteresting. Today, in Computer Lab, the kids were practicing using Microsoft Word. And, if they accomplished their exercises with time remaining, they were permitted to play Math Blaster.

Math Blaster was a dreadfully straightforward video (computer) game in which students would guide their hero (an admirable space traveler) through the galaxy by adding, subtracting, and multiplying. If you were clever enough to bring our hero the entire way, to the last level, you would be challenged even further: fractions…

It was an uncomplicated fixture; however, it was extremely entertaining. I don’t actually know if I, personally, ever got far in this game (Probably not, I suck at Math), but I do remember that it was a competition—we all enjoyed it.

Now, I don’t know how popular this game ever became outside of our computer lab walls, but I do know that our school definitely treasured it. It was put into practice accidentally, but after the teachers saw how effective it was, they decided to keep it.

Now that I am learning about technology in the classroom, I can see the advantages to video games. They could be very useful tools when teaching our students—especially when it comes to keeping them interested in the material and expanding on multiple literacies.

Maybe there could be The Great Gatsby: The Game. Students would need to read the book in order to progress in the game. Symbolism and Irony, etcetera, would serve as a way to guide Gatsby through this adventure.

Ha, I know that’s a giant stretch. But, in all seriousness, I’m convinced that there is a way that video games could be implemented—and the article Grand Theft Education has helped me to believe that. I must admit that I was a little bit of a skeptic at first. But, it all comes down to what Zengotita said, “Everyone in the overdeveloped world will have the tools they need to create this amazing stuff, whether it be blogs or films or games" (39).

*In Wallkill Middle School, where I was educated, the students had to adhere to the each day as either an ‘A’ day, or a ‘B’ day. The classes were different depending on which day it was.


Jenn said...

I had the game "Math Blaster" at home. My parents got it for us when they bought our computer. It was a fun game even though, I too, suck at math.

Side note: Does anyone else know or did anyone else have a game console (like nintendo or sega) called "Socrates?" You didnt put "games" into it, but it did have its own games on it, stored in what Im guessing now is a hard drive, that where all educational. I remember playing it growing up and learning many things on it from math to spelling.

(As you can tell my parents were big on the educational entertainment in my house. I blame my nerdiness on them)

I agree a Gatsby game would be interesting. Maybe before we get into our own classrooms we'll see it happen.

natalie said...

I think the most important thing mentioned here is that even people who didn't do well in math and who probably didn't like it all that much managed to like "Math Blaster." The same could happen in a literature classroom. Students who dislike reading may be motivated to do their work if they can play a game to show/demonstrate what they have learned. I think that there's a general belief that learning and fun don't mix well. Clearly, this is not the case, and i look forward to incorporating games any time I get a chance to.