Reflecting on Our Education Arcade Continued ..

The most exciting game for me to play was the remake of the game Deal or No Deal — in our arcade — called Find The Ace:

Though it was quite simple, it was the thrill of pulling the playing cards out the envelopes that made it so exciting and fun. The dealer was being cheap with the deals though. I was down to two envelopes. I had a 50/50 chance of getting the ace and my offer was ONLY 5 tickets to walk away. 5 tickets!! No way!

One thing though, I never quite knew what the lesson in the game was. My excitement just took over me and I never stopped to think what that could be.

I am not one who likes to give criticism, even if it is constructive, but the Professor is making me in this case!

Adder All was a game that I enjoyed playing as well. I am horrible at math, but having to figure out the solution to the problems before it hit the bottom got my blood flowing and  I could barely sit still in the chair. I’m making this statement unaware of what effort it might take to have a math program like that run smoothly, but I don’t think this particular game in our Education Arcade required much “building”. It was “techy” and that was cool, but maybe it was one of the easier ways out.

All in all, great turnout for the arcade with such little Makers time. The prize table and tickets were the icing on it all. Everyone did great! Good job guys!

 

 

 

The expectations I had for the class were exactly the opposite of what I went through this winter semester. I thought the class would revolve around learning about computers, their parts and how they function – sort of like the introduction course. I had no idea what I was stepping into the first day of class.

I was expecting it to be a drag, honestly. I was just ready to get in and get out in three short weeks. I think this was mainly because I was pretty bummed about not being able to enjoy my winter break, but instead being in York College for four seasons straight.

(Spring ’12, Summer ’12, Fall ’13 and Winter ’13).

I can say I also wasn’t excited about the class being focused around blogging. My face dropped when I heard that on the first day and I knew it would be a long three weeks. This was my thought  in the beginning of the class, but it ended up being something interesting and great. I wasn’t thrilled about having to post blogs and sit for time after time commenting on as many posts from my classmates as I could. I barely like to sit in front of my Mac to check emails for ten minutes. It blew my mind to think that I would have to be faced with a computer screen for four hours and then some extra hours at home for three weeks.

The class ended up being very exciting and with it revolving around the making of the Education Arcade, I got to interact with my classmates and I feel we were all pretty close at the end of the course. Making the arcade brought us together. I have a new found respect for blogging and bloggers. It seems like blogging is just like writing, like it would flow so easily, but blogging took more thought than I expected. Even though, I can’t see it as something I’d do outside of the classroom, I appreciate how bloggers keep us, non bloggers, in tune.

My favorite non-game oriented assignment had to be the few that were based around DS106 Digital Storytelling. Even though it was EXTREMELY frustrating trying to figure out how to edit and all, at the end when I finally got it, it was so much fun. When it comes to the visual and design assignments, you can really tweak anything you want! It’s amazing!

I’ve been showing my finished product to everyone I know because I was so amazed with being able to get it done.

I’m so proud of the work I accomplished this semester. Not to mention our Wiz Professor who helped answer my billions of questions and told me I will not give up – when I sure did want to.

What would I change about this class?

Easy, less time in front of the computer. Haha. No, but honestly, I would like it if we spoke more in group. It would help clarify some of the difficulties with assignments, but it would also allow us to share ideas with one another. It could act like the brainstorm before blogging. We were only able to do that right before building for the Education Arcade.

In all, I really enjoyed this winter class and appreciated that it took me out of my element. I explored technology and got to get in touch with my creative, imaginative kid side!

So I want to say Thank You to everyone. AC 230 was a really enjoyable class!

The World’s Fittest Athletes

The World’s Fittest Athletes Game

My game was called “The World’s Fittest Athletes” which was a game designed to teach the 5 components of physical fitness which are Cardiovascular Endurance, Muscle Strength, Flexibility, Muscle Endurance and Body Composition however for the sake of the game I left off body comp because it is a complex component to apply to physical fitness.  The idea of the game was to build a lesson around the Physical Fitness Components and associate them with various sports activities.

Thanks to the help of Prof. Smith I was able implement the components into a game similar to Dungeons & Dragons.  In my game I have a wheel of athletes who have a set level of 1 -18 which correspond to each of the 4 fitness components, the player then spins an arrow along the wheel to acquire an athlete, after that the player has 4 dice rolls to increase the levels of each component, depending on what they roll they receive that number in tickets, if they go over 18 they get nothing but if they get to the max of 18 they get an extra 10 bonus tickets…

The physical fitness components and the wheel of athletes

My game was a combination of both chance and skill as the player had to become aware of their athletes levels of the 4 fitness components and skillfully gage which component they were apply added points.  It was also a game of chance because when the player rolled the dice their was a chance they would either roll to low, to high or just right.  I liked implying both elements of skill and chance because it made the game more exciting.

I think my game allowed the player to construct knowledge because to start the game you had to learn the the physical fitness components and associate them with various sports activities.  Once the player became aware of the fitness components and the levels associated with their athlete they then had to estimate how to increase each level.  Therefore in this sense a player had to construct a knowledge of the fitness components.

The mechanics of the game I felt were pretty good,  the design or game play was a little complex to grasp for a first time player therefore I had to monitor/explain the player through their first go round, but after their first play they became pretty comfortable with the mechanics and game play.  You could say it was it bit cumbersome at first but if I explained it clearly the player would learn the game through play.  I would change the complexity of the different parts to the game such as the scoring system and the rules but I am a bit unsure of how I would change those elements.  The most efficient way I suppose would be writing the rules & objectives more clearly on the game.  I really liked designing this game and playing it too, I also think the students had fun playing it as well but I realized that I had to guide the player through their first play.  I would simplify the rules/objectives to allow the player to play without my guidance…

AC 230 Reflection

With concern to my expectations for this class, leading up to the class I was really unsure of what to expect. All I wanted to do was strive for an A+, take full advantage of all the knowledge presented and participate as fully as possible.  When the class started and Prof. Smith explained how the class was going to be I was a little concerned as I am not that tech savvy but I did expect myself to perform the course material, learn as much as I could and enjoy the whole process.  Overall I am pleased with the outcome and with concern to my expectations I felt I learned a lot of knowledge on computer/internet info and most importantly it helped think about ways to implement technology in my profession as a PE teacher. Every assignment we were asked to complete truly helped me increase my abilities as future teacher.

The concept of designing the class around building and education arcade where students create a lesson based game was an awesome idea and I think every class participant really enjoyed this class.  The education game assignments were super fun and the non game assignments I definitely appreciated the most were the DS106 assignments, both completing a DS106 and designing my own DS106 style assignment were very beneficial to me because it opened my eyes to the possibility of using creative technology based lessons as a PE teacher/coach/ trainer.

Overall this was great class for education majors and the way Prof. Smith designed this class was very knowledgeable, highly interactive and very fun.  Honestly I don’t think I would change any aspect of how the class was because I completely benefited from every   assignment, task and challenge… GREAT CLASS!!!!

 

 

Reflecting on Our Education Arcade

Education Arcade – Real Prizes

My Academic Computing 230 class just wrapped up its Education Arcade full of great games, great people and even greater prizes! While most of the games revolved around the subject of Mathematics, my game was a different kind.  It was so much fun! Check out a player taking a shot at my game Make A Meal.

My classmate was such a great sport! Tons of fun.

I would say my game was a combination of both skill and luck. You could see in the video the Professor made a joke saying that my game required serious athletic ability which isn’t necessarily true, but it sure was a funny line. If it happened to be that the player of the game had great aim and was athletic, it might be easier for him or her to get the ring around the bottles. That’s where I can see the element of skill fitting in. On the other had, if a contestant decided to come and play my game and they didn’t have much hand-eye coordination amongst other things, then the concept of making a meal would be a lot harder to accomplish. This is why I say that the game involves some luck as well because with this kind of contestant, they’d have to just toss it and hope and pray it landed around the body of a bottle with the correct label. Therefore, whether my game is of luck or pure skill depends on the player.

Everyone who came around to play my game seemed very excited about the action component it involved. It was also very exciting because the players panicked a little every time the amount of tosses they had went down as they still hadn’t completed their meal. One thing I heard a lot was that my game was pretty hard. I don’t know if that was said jokingly, but  I hope so. After hearing that once or twice, I started modifying my game. I gave each player more tosses so instead of 6, maybe I gave them 8 and I gave the children about 10. Another thing I did was move the line closer and at certain times, I rearranged my bottles by spreading them out so the ring had a greater chance of not being obstructed by a bottle nearby.

Even though I thought my game was more steered towards showcasing knowledge, I think it also allowed players to construct knowledge about which foods belonged in certain food groups. As an example, I’ll use something I observed during the Arcade. I asked a player to make a meal using fruits, but no vegetables and she tossed the ring around the bottle labeled “carrot”. With her making that mistake, I got to explain to her that the carrot is a part of the vegetable food group as she thought it was a fruit. So with players placing wrong foods in the food groups, it allowed them to learn the lesson by playing. After that, some of the same players who made mistakes came back around to play Build A Meal again to get it right. Now that’s learning.

Other than some minor things, I would keep my game the way it was. I would change the labels I made. Because I wrote them with the only marker I could find at the time, silver, it was hard for some of the players to search out the meats and other products in the game. The bright light reflecting off of the metallic marker made it worse for them as well. Something else I would change is the ring. I would have loved to purchase an actual ring, multiple as well so that I didn’t have to go fetch the ring after every toss. This would also help keep track of how many tosses the player already took. I was keeping count with my fingers while trying to remember which parts of the meal were made already. I think my particular game was pretty fast paced so maybe I would like to give each player more chances at making meals, more than 6 tosses to slow it down.

The silly moves (tosses) with my game made it very playful and full of laughs and I think that is one very important part of an arcade, having fun. In our case – being able to be a kid!

Because I feel this post is getting too long – check out Part II of this post as I’ll comment on some of my classmates’ games and reflect on the class (:

Build A Meal in the Making

The Education Arcade took place on Wednesday and it turned out GREAT! I didn’t have a chance to document my game before the arcade, but I’d still like to share the concept behind my arcade game and how I came to building “Build A Meal”.

Build A Meal

Almost everyone I know calls me a “health freak”. Nutrition is a topic in health that is very important to me. I try my hardest to practice what I preach when it comes to living a healthy young lifestyle. I’m a Health Education K-12 major so I guess it’s not so surprising that I chose to build an arcade game around the subject.

I tried to revolve Build A Meal around a famous game at Coney Island — I’m sorry I don’t know what the name is, but I have the concept of the game down: the player gets five balls which equals 5 chances to aim and throw them at pins – sort of like bowling pins. Depending on how they do, they get a choice of a stuffed animal as a prize. This is how I got to the set up of my own game.

Thinking of a game to use in the arcade was very difficult for me and for a while, I had no idea what I was going to come up with. There wasn’t much building to do for my game, but I’ll take you through the steps I took.

First, I collected water bottles. We go through many of them a day at my house so finding them to use for the game wasn’t hard at all. In the image above, you can see that the bottles are different shapes and certain food groups have more bottles than the others. This is because I based how many bottles to put for each food group on the minimum daily servings are recommended for that specific group based on The USDA Food Pyramid. So here’s the breakdown:

Grains – 6 bottles (minimum 6 servings recommended per day)

Meat, Fruit, Dairy – 2 bottles for each food group

Vegetables – 3 bottles

Use sparingly – 1 bottle

For a total of 16 bottles. I also used that category of fats and oils as a way of giving 1 ticket to the people who played my game and didn’t succeed at making a meal. A ticket just for the attempt at participating. (This is because you’re not supposed to have much of it at all so I wasn’t using it in making any of the meals).

On each bottle I put a label of a food that would be found in that food group. For this I just used memo sheets, a marker and tape. For example, for grains, I had cereal, pasta, quinoa and others.

The learning objective behind my game is to get students to be able to categorize which foods belong in each of the 5 food groups. The goal of the game is to make a meal. Participants had to stand behind a line and use a ring and toss it around the bottles where the label matched the food group I asked for. Here’s an example. Make a meal that consists of 1 grain, 1 meat and 2 vegetables. The player would get 6 tosses to get the ring around items that belonged in those food groups. Each one they got correct earned them a specific number of tickets.

At first, I thought my game was pretty easy, but during the arcade, some of my classmates were telling me that it was pretty hard. Another fault was the ring used in the game. I looked around everywhere trying to purchase a wide ring to make the game a bit easier, but I had no luck. Here I go thinking that it would be a popular kids item for playing. The ring I ended up bringing to the arcade was not wide enough so it was hard to get it around any bottle so, I had to improvise and make a new ring using arcade tickets rolled up into a circle with a little weight to it. I used about 50 tickets to make the ring for the game.

Although my game wasn’t so “techy” in the end, I think it made a great educational arcade game.