Sunday, May 12, 2013

Play Games or Create Your Own Through YoYo Games

YoYo Games offers a free game development tool called Game Maker 8. Game Maker 8 enables users to develop simple video games using a drag and drop editor. Game Maker 8 gives users the ability to customize backgrounds and actions throughout their games. For the first-time user YoYo Games offers a series of free Game Maker 8 tutorials.

Game Maker 8 is available in three versions; Studio which will allow you to export games for play on PC or Mac, Standard which for $50 unlocks advanced features and supports Windows 8, and a Pro version which costs $100 and unlocks even more features and supports mobile play.

YoYo Games hosts hundreds of relatively simple online games created by amateur and professional game developers that you can play for free too.

Applications for Education
Game Maker 8 could be a good tool for students to use to try to develop educational games. After a unit of study instead of having kids give a presentation have them try to develop a game which demonstrates what they've learned. Perhaps they could develop a game based on a set of mathematics concepts or a game based on a set of historical events.  

Use Clips of Seinfeld to Teach Economics

Over the last couple of days I've shared some resources for teaching and learning about economics. Here's one more that I've used with some high school students in the past.

The Economics of Seinfeld is a neat concept for teaching economics lessons developed by economics professors from Eastern Illinois University and Baker University. The Economics of Seinfeld is a catalog of clips (sometimes entire episodes) from the hit sitcom Seinfeld that demonstrate various economics concepts. There are seven pages of clips that you can browse through. Alternatively, and more practically, you can search for clips by entering an economics term like "demand," "supply," and "substitute goods."

If you plan to use The Economics of Seinfeld, you should know that it doesn't host all of the video clips. In some cases you're just directed you to episodes and time-frames within episodes to find clips. You'll have to find the episodes on Hulu or acquire a copy of Seinfeld on DVD to use the clips in your classroom. (Seinfeld fanatics can get Seinfeld - The Complete Serieson DVD from Amazon).