Getting to Z: part 1Getting to Z: part 1 boris Wed, 2006-01-25 11:25
For a few years, I have been increasingly interested in how COTS (commercial, off the shelf games) can be successfully used in the education space.
For a basic introduction to games and education please click here. This covers a teachers perspective of the games in education movement.
As a long time fan of text-based games, bringing a MUSH into my classroom seems a logical and natural progression of my interest in games in education.
This is an introduction to a multi-part series in which I hope to detail my successes and challenges using a Star Trek MUSH to help 8th graders (14 years old) understand XY and Z on a cartesian coordinate plane.
Most of my entries here will be cross-posted from my blog, www.mackenty.org. However, I'm sure some mush-specific material will emerge as we explore this exciting new instructional strategy, which I will post here.
Getting to Z: part 2Getting to Z: part 2 boris Wed, 2006-01-25 11:37
This is the formal lesson plan I submitted to my administrator. It's probably worth noting I've spoken at length with our math teacher, who is very curious about this. I've also connected with parents and gotten their permission.
The conversation and issues raised with the wizcore on the MUSH is worth an entry of it's own!
Getting to Z. Text-based multiplayer games and the 3-dimensional cartesian coordinate plane.
This lesson is designed for grades 7 and 8 (ages 13 and 14). This lesson is currently designed for small groups (no more than 5 students).
This lesson is designed to last 2 months, meeting once a week for about 40 minutes.
ISTE Tech Standards
Students use technology tools to enhance learning, increase productivity, and promote creativity.
Students use productivity tools to collaborate in constructing technology-enhanced models, prepare publications, and produce other creative works.
Students use telecommunications to collaborate, publish, and interact with peers, experts, and other audiences.
Students employ technology in the development of strategies for solving problems in the real world
National (NCTM) and Massachusetts State Mathematics Standards
Using ordered pairs of whole numbers (including zero), graph, locate, and identify points, and describe paths on the Cartesian coordinate plane
Specify locations and describe spatial relationships using coordinate geometry and other representational systems
Analyze properties and determine attributes of two- and three-dimensional objects
Use Cartesian coordinates and other coordinate systems, such as navigational, polar, or spherical systems, to analyze geometric situations
Investigate conjectures and solve problems involving two- and three-dimensional objects represented with Cartesian coordinates
Draw and construct representations of two- and three-dimensional geometric objects using a variety of tools
Visualize three-dimensional objects and spaces from different perspectives and analyze their cross sections
Bill MacKenty, M.Ed. Edgartown School
Students will play an online text-based multiplayer game. They will create a character in this game world, and take on the role of captaining a ship. In this context, as the captain of a starship in the Star Trek universe, the players will navigate through a text-based, 3-dimensional universe. For the curious, they will be using a derivative a-space system called ParadoxSpace.
There are no graphics, sounds, or graphical-user-interface. The entire lens through which students experience this game world will be textual.
It is in this interesting milieu students will understand and play inside the coordinate plane. They will successfully pilot a ship through the X Y and Z plane, dock with planets and starbases, avoid obstacles, and perhaps even engage an opponent! They will not be able to succeed in these tasks unless they understand X Y and Z.
Students should learn:
To articulate the position of X Y and Z on a cartesian coordinate plane.
To plot a line from one area on a cartesian coordinate plane to another area, considering potential obstacles.
To apply knowledge of 3D cartesian coordinate plane to a theoretical/imaginary space and maneuver in this space.
What does XY and Z describe on a cartesian coordinate plane?
Apply your knowledge of XY and Z to our text based multiplayer game. How is knowing about XYZ helpful?
What jobs might require a good knowledge of X,Y and Z? How?
What is the evidence that students have learned the standard?
1. Self-assessment. Students will rate their understanding.
2. Pre/post test in X,Y and Z.
3. Successfully navigate and engage an opponent in 3D cartesian space
Teaching and learning experiences to develop and demonstrate desired understandings.
The majority of this activity will involve playing in a text-based multiplayer game.
There will be 4 major stages of instruction:
1) Introduction to text-based games, connecting, moving, talking, posing. Rules.
2) Connection to the MUSH and engaging in character generation
3) Introduction to aspace (this will be a major component of instruction)
4) Continuing familiarity with aspace concluding with the mother of all space battles!