Monday, 10 December 2007

Create your own game

This is something that caught my eye last week. I just couldn't resist adding a feature about it here, though I think this does come with some warnings and reservations.

Pictogame.com is a website which enables you to create your own games very easily with just a few easy steps. All you need to do is:
  • upload a picture,
  • select the part of it you want to show
  • choose a game type
  • add in a title and description.
Then you simply click to see the completed game. You need to register to upload and save the game, but it's free and very quick to do. There are quite a few different game types to choose from, but there are lots of examples on the site that other people have made, so you can look at those to help you decide which type to make.

Here's a rather annoying game that I created in less than 5 minutes



So how do you use this with students
You could just create a game using a picture of yourself and use it;
  • as a filler for those students who finish early if you work in a media lab / connected classroom.
  • as a nice 'leveler' to make a game for your students with a picture of yourslef and shows that you have a sense of humour.
  • to include a messages in the game like, "Hey! Remember to do your homework"
You could get students making games as a short task using either pictures of themselves or of well known celebrities.
  • This will give them some practice at following instructions and they could work in pairs to discus the type of game they would like to create and who it would be for
  • You can have a class competition for who can create the best game. Get students to vote for the best one and justify their choice
  • Some of the games include quizzes to test general knowledge
  • Get each group of students to create a different type of game and then describe to the other groups how the game is played
What I like about it
  • It's free and very easy
  • It's a nice simple fun task that you can get students to do as a filler
  • Students can share the games quite easily either via email or through blogs or other online forums
  • It can easily be integrated with other Web 2.0 applications such as Facebook, Blogger etc.
What I wasn't so keen on
  • Some of the games are unsuitable for younger kids
  • You need to make sure that students don't misuse the site and create unpleasant games using photographs of other students

This isn't the world's most useful site for developing language, but if used properly it's one that you can use to lighten up your course and your students can have some fun with.

I'd be very interested to hear from anyone who uses or has used this with their class, just to see how your students reacted and what you did with it.

Best

Nik

3 comments:

sandrina vlahou said...

Hi Nik my source of inspiration,

your blog is really dangerous!!! Everytime I read it I spend hours following up your ingenious suggestions about using tech in the classroom. I have just given pictogame a go (and therefore sacrificing my siesta hence the "dangerous"...) and uploaded a sample game on my school site hoping for some feedback. You are right the game as a game is really crappy, but from the Students' point of view making it will be fun and engaging and they will be using English realistically in their favourite medium. You can check it out if yo like http://www.sandrinavlahou2.blogspot.com

As a final note I was really surprised to find out that some of my students used Facebook in their native language (Greek)!!!

Nik Peachey said...

Hi Sandrina
I loved your game. I scored 38 spells! Great fun. Why are you surprised about your students using Facebook in their native language????

sandrina vlahou said...

your question was actually quite hard to answer as I couldn't find a valid enough reason to explain why I was surprised that my greek students were using FB in their native lang. I just took it for granted I suppose that they would be using it in english for practice. I think they caught a glimpse of the importance of this as we came across the word "siblings" in a lesson and I stressed the fact that those of them who used FB in English would know the meaning of this word and that's how the whole topic came up really. I know for sure though that they have switched now so something good came out of this. Does that answer your question? It seems that you don't mind if students use FB in their native language.