My name is Jeremy Nelson and I teach high school history, government, and economics. Four years ago I created a massive board game for my world history class that focuses on the Middle Ages. As I have revised The Game (as it has been affectionately titled by my students) I have discovered a passion for this creative outlet and a desire to create more board games. I am in the midst of a final revision of The Game, and have begun the initial stages of expanding my world history curriculum to incorporate board game play with every unit of study we cover. In addition, I am in the middle-planning stages of a microeconomics game that will revolve around multiple economics concepts.
My passion in this is to create deeper, more meaningful learning experiences for my students through the use of cooperative board games. I am really excited to interact with all of you and to learn as much as possible while hopefully contributing something myself.
I will be uploading pics of The Game shortly to give you all an idea of my labor of love.
Welcome aboard, Jeremy! It's great to see teachers bringing play into the classroom!
I'm especially interested in your work, so I hope you'll post updates in a blog or journal. I'm a parent and video game developer who sees vast potential in using game play to bring subjects like math, history, and economics to life. I'd love to see how you approach that problem.
I think that combining games into high school curriculum is awesome. There are a small number of teachers doing it in various fields, but there should be a lot more. Congrats for putting in all the extra effort and passion to enhance your students' educations -- and have fun at the same time.
Personally, I've been inspired to learn about history mostly through games. After I play a fun game set in a particular historical period, usually do further research in that area. This includes identifying the historical accuracies and anomalies in the game. All in all, I've found that games are a great way of inspiring interest in a subject.
Kos and Mark,
Thanks for the encouragement. It has been interesting interacting with my administrators on this topic. I usually get a cocked eyebrow and a look that says, "Games? You are playing games with your students?" What they don't realize is that the cooperative, competitive environment fuels the learning, just like you communicated.
This sounds very exciting - good luck with your designs!
I think games really help make the transition from theory to application easy. It's one thing to read about a flank attack, compound interest or a 1:36 chance of something occuring; it's something else to collapse one side of your enemy's battle line, turn your hundreds into thousands or to roll two 6s and keep the enemy out of Indonesia just...one...more...turn...