Update: The game is live at gsrgame.smithdtyler.com
Over the last couple of months I've been doing classroom trials of the Goodnight Server Room app. I've tested the app with toddlers, second graders, middle school students, and even a few college students. What surprised me most was how quickly the second graders caught on to the concepts in the game, but second most was just how much everybody loves getting points
|300 points, but I'm just getting started|
The app lets students proceed through the games as quickly as they want - there aren't gates or levels like you might find in traditional video games. I wanted it that way so that my preschooler would not get stuck on the first page.
Usually when I have a room full of students playing the game a few of them race through it in a couple of minutes.
I see hands go up, "I'm done!"
"How many points did you get?" I ask.
"750!" someone shouts.
"900!" comes the challenge from across the room.
With this exchange the timbre of the whole room suddenly shifts. The activity is no longer about just going through the steps to move on to the next thing. Now it's about exploring. I don't tell the students how to get points, I just let them search. It doesn't take long for them to discover that they keep getting more points by solving more binary puzzles.
|Students at Sauk Middle School playing Goodnight Server Room|
Now they're not just engaged, they're actively seeking out opportunities to learn (though by now they've gotten that part, they're just having fun).