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Educational App Review

Page history last edited by Lucas Gillispie 14 years, 3 months ago

Games We're Using:




Description:  In this game, based on Will Wright's successful SIMS franchise, the player creates a virtual person, or SIM, and then helps that person live out their virtual life.  Your SIM can get a job, has hobbies, and even personality quirks that emerge when interacting with other SIMS.


Applications in the Classroom:  This has great potential for digital storytelling.  We have used this game to encourage students to consider others' points-of-view and as a foundation for creative writing.  We used it to create comics in conjunction with the Strip Designer app.  It also has some potential in sociology, for example, consider the Nickel and Dimed Challenge based on Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich.  


Price: $6.99 (as of 2/2010)


Notes: The game is rated 12+.


Link:  SIMS  3 in the App Store



Civilization Revolution:


Description:  This game is based on game designer, Sid Meier's, popular Civilization series.  Players assume the role of a historic leader and lead their civilization from very primitive early stages to the modern age.  While doing so, they will engage in diplomacy with neighboring cultures, develop science and technology, monitor their economy and culture, and engage in warfare with other civilizations.


Applications in the Classroom:  This game provides a great foundation for encouraging students to research historical leaders, events, and developments.  We have used it as a foundation for creative writing (such as journaling from a leader's point of view).  You could also discuss (and experiment) with historical events and "what-if" scenarios that could deepen students' understanding of historical events.


Price: $6.99 (as of 2/2010)


Notes: The game is rated 12+.


Link:  Civilization Revolution in the App Store



Spore Origins:


Description:  This App is based on the popular Spore series designed by Will Wright.  In this game, the player begins as a basic aquatic life form and develops adaptations that increase its survivability.  Your custom-designed creature might have extra eyes or powerful mandibles for eating smaller organisms.


Applications in the Classroom:  This game is somewhat beneficial for getting students to think about biological adaptations and survival of the fittest, though, as a player, you are clearly directing the flow of the game.  It has been useful to us as a starting point for writing project in language arts that are interdisciplinary.


Price: $1.99 (as of 2/2010)


Notes:  This game is rated 4+.  We don't recommend using this game for teaching strict biological concepts, but with guidance, it is good for overview and can allow for generalization.  It may be a great starting point for conversations comparing game play to actual biological phenomena.


"Eat the small things and stay away from the big things..." - Craig Lawson


Link:  Spore: Origins in the App Store




Description:  How many words can you spell from a random assortment of letters?  This fast-paced game allows you to hone your word skills solo or playing against another player on your network.


Applications in the Classroom:  We've used this App as a great way to engage students at the beginning or end of a class period.  It is ideal for getting students to think about their vocabulary and spelling.  The competition over WiFi is a very motivating factor for students.


Price: $0.99 (as of 2/2010)


Notes:  The competitive WiFi play is hit-or-miss on our network.  Occasionally students will disconnect from their game sessions.  Also, to "submit" a word during game play, you make a chopping motion with your iPod Touch.  Be sure students have a tight grip while playing!


LinkWord Fu App in the App Store



Supporting Apps:






Applications in the Classroom:


Price: $1.99 (as of 2/2010)




Link: Sketches in the App Store


Strip Designer:


Description:  Design your own comic panels using your own images or screenshots taken with the iPod Touch.  Arrange the order, add speech bubbles, and even email them or post them to a website.


Applications in the Classroom


Price: $2.99 (as of 2/2010)




Link: Strip Designer in the App Store



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