After a busy second day at TLISI 2015 comprising morning and afternoon concurrent sessions and a lunch presentation, TLISI participants circled back to Copley Formal Lounge for a social hour with smoothies provided by Maui Wowie in keeping with the wellness theme of this year’s TLISI. The smoothies were not the only draw, as some of the ITEL Tablet and Gaming cohorts were also on hand to share their projects with the smoothie drinkers. This was an interactive and fun end to the day, with every station containing a different technology used in an innovative way which intrigued and surprised all present.
Wandering around the room, participants encountered many innovative ITEL projects from past years. One of these was “The Gustar Game,” created so that students in a Spanish class could master a particular verbal construction through the use of a virtual gaming experience similar to Minecraft. Another project presented was “A Tale of Two (Sim) Cities,” which showed the utility of simulation engineering and planning games as applied to learning contexts and the learning process. “The Evidence Game,” designed by CNDLS’s own Bill Garr, is a template for gaming in the classroom that will be able to be adapted by instructors to their particular purposes and learning goals for their courses. Representing the traditional hard sciences, one of the presenters was able to pursue a curriculum designed around collaborative inquiry with the help of digital microscopes in one of his biology labs. An app designed for visualizing sound waves, as used in a music course, was another major draw for attendees.
This showcase represented an exciting preview for instructors of what is possible when incorporating innovative technologies and teaching strategies in the classroom, and hopefully got them thinking creatively about their own use of games and/or tablets in the classroom.