Playbrighter - A Free Educational Game
Tuesday 4th December 2012
In this technological age where kids have access to, and are able to immerse themselves in high-quality game environments that test their gathered knowledge, acquired skills and ingenuity in engaging and fast-action situations, it is a constant struggle for teachers to monitor and assess learning in engaging and stimulating ways that is relevant to students of the digital age – it’s now a fact that the photocopied 20 question hand-out just doesn’t cut it anymore as the students don’t place any value on what they see as an out-dated method of assessment.
There is also the chore of having to mark countless, test papers that are sometimes scruffy, illegible and have the potential to get mislaid. Surely, in this day and age there must be a better way. Well, there is and it’s called PlayBrighter!
‘Playbrighter’ is a game-based learning environment, which contains over 20,000 curricula-based questions to get teachers started and which they can then add to if they want to, allowing them to test their students on any subject area they wish. The subjects that are covered include:
English (Key stage 2, 3 and 4)
Mathematics (Key stage 2, 3 and 4)
Key stage 2 and 3 Science
GCSE Biology, Chemistry and Physics
Key Stage 3 and 4 Geography
Key Stage 3 and 4 R.E
Key Stage 3 and 4 PSHE and Citizenship
There are differentiated questions so that missions can be tailored to suit students of varying abilities, either from a group-wide point of view or on an individual student basis.
On ‘PlayBrighter’, teachers set their students ‘missions’, which challenges them to play one of the games. They progress through the game by answering the questions that the teacher has set. So, as ‘PlayBrighter’ state on their website for instance, “In the French room, students might release a Number One single by mastering the passé composé, or defeat an international conspiracy by conjugating ‘avoir’” or in the science area, students maybe successful by calculating the speed of an object or stating the formula for Carbon Dioxide.
When students are successful on their ‘missions’ they are rewarded by earning some of the game environment currency. They can use this to personalise different aspects for their avatar by purchasing new clothes or having a different hair colour etc.
Now for teachers, ‘PlayBrighter’ automatically marks the work of the students as they complete each mission saving teachers huge amounts of their valuable time that they would otherwise spend marking. The teacher area also offers a complete detailed breakdown of those assessments, including informative charts that track individual student’s progress. This applies to whether the teacher runs tests within the classroom or sets the ‘missions’ for homework.
The most fantastic aspect of ‘PlayBrighter’ is that it is completely free, all teachers have to do is sign up a group of students and set them a mission. Students will find the game enjoyable, engaging and immersive and will probably forget that they are actually learning, as they will find ‘PlayBrighter’ enormous fun.