Sunday, August 26, 2012

History of Games

A game is like a mirror that allows you to look at yourself. - Robert Kiyosaki 
Some interesting facts about games:

The oldest complete set of gaming equipment ever found was Royal Game of Ur dating back to 3000BC apparently played in Mesopotamia. There is also evidence of game-playing in Egypt during the same period.

Another game Wei-Qi from China dates back to 2000BC. Interestingly the earliest game of Backgammon  can be traced back to the year of 1AD and from then on it started developing in different cultures.

The earliest European mention of card games was in Spain in 1371. Snakes and Ladders (also popular today in ELT) first was published in England in the 1890s.

The earliest ancestor of Monopoly called the Landlord's Game was patented in 1904. In 1931 the game of Lexico was invented which in 1947 became Scrabble. (Source)

And the following timeline presents the development of video and online games.

Presented by Online Education (Click on the image to make it bigger.)
Video Game Timeline

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Illiteracy Types and Rates - Infographic

This is the second infographic that I have created so far and I start to see a bigger potential to using infographics in the classroom.

First of all, it is obvious that infographics provide an easier way of understanding information. Secondly, as they do not contain a lot of information (because it would be quite difficult to follow an infographic which contains too much text), they could initiate a discussion.

For example, with this infographic, teachers could ask their learners to come up with some other forms of illiteracy and discuss why they occur and what can be done to reduce the problem. (Teachers could check out this link to find out more about other forms of illiteracy.)

For me this would be a very useful and (hopefully) interesting way to prepare my learners to speaking sections of exams. But I am sure that this could be used in other classes as well. 

Illiteracy_Types_and_Rates title=

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Prezi in 3D

As a Prezi lover, I keep an eye on what is going on with the tool. And just today I have discovered that a 3D Prezi option was added to the templates. 

When you just start your new Prezi and are given a list of templates to choose from, you can easily see the 3D options as they are all labeled '3D' in the bottom right hand-side corner.

There is also a more advanced 3D option available where you can upload a background image from your computer which will then be turned into 3D. You can also add up to three background layers with a 3D option to your Prezi via the Theme Wizard.

I created this short presentation with a 3D template available on Prezi just to see how it looks. I have to say, I really liked what I saw. I hope you like it too. 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

How to Create Infographics with

At first I wanted to create my own screencast tutorial on how to create infographics but then I found a really good video on Youtube and decided to share that instead. I am sure you will enjoy creating your own infographics!

World Statistics - Infographic

This was my first attempt at creating an infographic. The topic I picked may seem a bit sad, but that's the reality which could create discussion and maybe change attitudes. 

I am not really sure whether I am right or not, but I think teaching English nowadays is not only about grammar and vocabulary, but also about ideas and general knowledge. Very often our learners do not really know what is happening in the world and learn a lot from the course books that they are using in the classroom.

In a way I think infographics could be used in EFL/ESL for discussion as well as as drilling subject-related vocabulary, for example. 

Some_world_statistics title=

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Play and Learn Capitals of the World

The Site Itself
 One of my students posted a game in our Facebook group and asked everyone to play the game to achieve a score of 40,000. The game was Capitals of the World and the link to the game is in the caption under the picture on the right.
  A competition started and many of the students started playing the game and posting their scores. The ones who got high scores kept on encouraging the ones with lower scores, and the ones with low scores would praise the high-achievers and ask for their advice to score highly as well.
 Although this is a geographic game and by playing it learners remember the names of capital cities as well as the names of countries of the world. So this game could be usefully used in ESL/EFL too, as this is something that students learn at Elementary level. However, judging by my higher level students, I can confidently say that this game has proven to be useful for them too, because they communicated a lot in English while comparing their scores and helping each other to gain more scores.

  This is a fun game that goes through four stages (on the screenshots on the right): warm-up, marathon, hill climb and sprint. While learners are trying to get to the end of the game and then play it again because they want to achieve a higher score, they are also learning names of countries and their capital cities. Finally and most importantly, they are learning while having fun!