ISTE 4: Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
A great way for students to exercise their skills in critical thinking, problem solving and decision making, is for them to make artistic decisions while creating. While making creative decisions, students manifest a vision by navigating resources and using skills necessary in the creative process. Students who create their own video games are practicing how to think critically about their own processes and products, problem solve in order to manifest their original vision, and make decisions that shape outcomes.
Creating a game and/or community inspired by concepts related to the learning curriculum offers rich possibilities for students. In order to do this, students must have computer programming skills. This is not always possible to teach. An answer to this dilemma is a program called Inform7, which translates computer code into plain English. This way, students and teachers can use building blocks to get them started on the process of creating without needing to use code. Using this program, students will create their own games, simulations, and interactive stories.
In the middle school Language Arts class where I intern, students are required to read the popular science fiction novel, Ender’s Game. As a project in the past, students have created board games based on the novel. It must include all the elements of a board game and incorporate character, setting, plot details from the novel. Because Ender’s Game has a strong computer-game element, it would be appropriate for students to create a computer game or simulation that reflects the novel. The use of technology would be replacing physical board-games, but the use of technology in the creative process would transform the process immensely.
The site includes has historical simulation project and rubric ideas that are inspiring: http://gamingthepast.net/simulation-design/inform-7/inform-simulation-assignments-and-rubrics/
It also gives a brief timeline of Interactive Fiction’s development:
- Kiang, D. (2014). 3 ways coding and gaming can enhance learning. Edutopia. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/coding-and-gaming-enhance-learning-