Categories : Weekly Blog
Does your classroom have access to Chromebooks? They are an inexpensive option for computer science and easy to use with great cloud-based services and have access to android apps. One problem you might have with them is that many of the best Windows and Mac OS X programs are simply not available for Chromebooks. The solution is to know where to look!
Read on for a quick rundown of some of our best offerings for Chromebooks. We couldn't fit all of them in one blog post, but it's a great start!
Switch & Glitch
A programming game for young children, Switch & Glitch has the students control a robot with sequential commands. The catch is that commands such as “walk forward” and “turn right” are based on the robot’s perspective, not the student’s! Just like in actual programming, a single wrong command can cause the program to fail and require debugging. Switch & Glitch is suitable as a student’s first foray into programming logic.
Filament Games are developers with an impressive catalogue of learning games. Eight of these games have already been released on Desk, and more are coming. Teach plant biology with Reach for the Sun, where students grow and evolve plants. Teach younger students proper practices for hygiene with You Make Me Sick and its infectious puzzles. Teach human anatomy with Dr. Guts, where you perform creative surgeries on cartoonishly depicted patients.
Filament Games provide a wide variety of topics and challenges for even advanced students. Crazy Plant Shop is a shop management game where you must master plant genetics in order to breed and cultivate the right specimens for your discriminating customers. Planet Mechanic literally makes you just that: you get to tinker with planetary attributes, such as atmospheric pressure, tidal locks and rotation speed. Other upcoming titles, all also available on Chromebooks, will tackle physics, engineering and more.
Stranded is a game of classroom cooperation, where small groups of students play together. Stranded on an island, the players must scavenge supplies, build shelters and make decisions together. Although everyone independently decides their actions and votes for the next building on their own, the key to victory is communication.
While it is impossible to completely lose at Stranded, the students willing to actually discuss strategy and make long-term plans will always thrive. Due to this heavy emphasis on teamwork and verbal communication, the game is a great fit for language learning as well - have the students communicate in a second language instead and every interaction is practice.
With global warming sadly becoming an ever more relevant topic with record-breaking global heat waves, you’d be hard-pressed to teach any student too much about the subject. In Climate Pursuit, you control a species that must both migrate and evolve to withstand 100 years of climate change. The chief challenge is dispersal: you can never be completely sure where your offspring will end up, and you might need to revert back to an earlier strain to progress.
The beauty of Climate Pursuit is that it was developed by actual climatologists, so its science is sound. The game is also fun, if a bit challenging, perfectly suited for middle school students.
Where to Start
All of these and many more great games are part of the TeacherGaming Desk, a subscription service that is designed to make learning games in the classroom as hassle-free an experience as possible. If you would like to try out one of these games right now, Switch & Glitch is available for free online.
All of these games are available for educators as part of our TeacherGaming Desk subscription. Click here to find out more about the service!