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Sunday, November 19, 2006

Gadgets, Games and Gizmos: Learning Algebra in a Game

Here is a game where you navigate to a specific location using coordinates displayed on a graph. It is designed to teach about the X and Y axis to students taking an algebra class.

I have a 12 year old son in an Algebra I class, so I was excited to find a game designed specifically to teach algebra concepts using a first person perspective. A mixing of video games and algebra. The game demo is interesting in terms of combining a fundamental subject like Algebra with a video game environment.

The game is developed by a group called Tabula Digita. The 3D Algebra game called is Dimenxian. You can download a free demo and play yourself.

My 12 year old son says it is a good way to learn Algebra but he is used to game-play that moves a little more rapidly. Judge for yourself--share with your kids. It is a good step toward attracting the gamer generation to math and science. Using a language and genre they understand.

Once you have located all the weather stations, you need to plot points on a graph. Be careful you don't confuse the X and Y axis.

It really challenges instructional designers to combine the teaching of dry information in a more thought provoking and exciting way for the upcoming gamers. Can you make a game out of compliance training? Can you have the learner be a virtual inspector? Can the learner be a virtual character who has to avoid sanctions? What other ideas could be incorporated into what we traditionally think are "dry" subjects?

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