Using PowerPoint, Word and Excel to teach with games

Posted on Oct 12, 2010 by kjarrett Comments Off

Good morning all,

Today’s featured resource comes to us by way of Jan Dunlap from Olathe, Kansas. She recently shared this EdGames resource site, designed by Dr. Jeff Ertzberger (University of North Carolina). Dr. Ertzberger wrote a book called “Everybody Wins: A teachers guide to customizing games for any curriculum.” This quote on his site sums up his site and the focus of the book:

“Are you interested in using games in your classroom but just cant find ones that match your curriculum? Have you tried to create video or board games for your classroom only to be overwhelmed by the amount of time and effort required just to produce them? If you answered yes to these questions, this web site is for you. This site contains downloadable games, game templates, and utilities that teachers and trainers can use to enhance any lesson.”

While his book is for sale on lulu and it includes access to a “premium” version of his site, there is a vast collection of free completed games and templates posted on his completely FREE EdGames site. While this isn’t programming in the traditional sense … like, for example, learners would experience with Scratch or a similar tool … it is still of great value, especially if you put the students in charge of their own learning.

I imagine that many teachers will find these templates (some of which are ready-to-use) to be great time-savers. But the real benefits come when you provide a student or team of students with access to these tools and let them pick them apart, customize them, redesign and improve them, add relevant content, etc. I’ve done this with students and it’s tremendously powerful. It may not be “game design” in the purest, traditional sense but it allows students to develop interactive activities in a environment with a gentle learning curve, using software most are already familiar with – Microsoft Office!

Take a look at EdGames and decide for yourself!

Hope this helps,

-kj-

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