Using GBL As A Way To Engage Diverse, Urban Students: Amy Stafford & Christina Cruz
Amy StaffordAKA "The Blue Crayfish"
Amy Stafford and her students submitted 10 submissions for the Game-Based Learning Design Competition in June! The groups of students that participated in the competition varied widely, from “quieter, more reserved learners” to those who “struggle to finish assignments in class”. Her favorite aspect of the competition was that “this was a project that all levels of learners could successfully and proudly complete!”
After working closely with students on the competition, The Blue Crayfish found that it impacted her students in so many different ways: “The Legends of Learning Video Learning Game Challenge appealed to myself and our students because it focused on a topic that many students love; playing video games! This challenge allowed our students to experience another side of video games, the design process. This provided them with the opportunity to put their ideas on paper, create a game, and have other people understand their vision. That further excited and motivated the kids. The game combined collaboration, critical thinking skills, and writing in a way that the students not only enjoyed but excelled in. The challenge was ideal for all-level learners and their unique learning styles. The teams showed a high level of motivation and commitment to both the game and each other. The engagement, success, and pride that these students experienced with their finished products were worth all the time invested and what every teacher hopes to see throughout their teaching career.”
The Blue Crayfish, we can’t wait to see your students’ submission for our next STEM competition!
Christina CruzAKA "The Cataclysmic Converter"
When Christina Cruz started teaching six years ago, she “saw right away the potential for using gaming and game creating as a way to engage our diverse, urban students”. The Cataclysmic Converter always encourages her students to use educational games as a motivational tool, which guided her classroom directly to Legends of Learning.
The day she found out her school was switching to a virtual setting, she “immediately linked my class to Legends of Learning so that it could remain part of our daily routine”. Even though Christina was away from her students, she had “the opportunity to reach every student at their level, and to differentiate for all of my students online while engaging them in fun and exciting new games”. The Cataclysmic Converter reaches her students through games “to practice building our skills, to increase our knowledge of content vocabulary, and to build our class community by playing together”.
Over the course of the COVID-related closure, her favorite aspect of the platform was that the Legends team was “receptive and responsive to both teacher and student feedback, and there are always improvements and upgrades being implemented to give my students a more effective learning experience”.
Thank you, Christina, for being a true distance learning superhero!