While educators use a variety of games in the classroom for learning, similar game-based approaches are increasingly finding places outside of the classroom among adults who are responsible for and concerned about education. Budget Hold ’Em from Education Resource Strategies (ERS), a Massachusetts-based nonprofit, is one such game. In the game, players are presented with a case study on a fictional school and draw cards filled with a variety of budgeting scenarios. Ultimately, as they play their “hand,” players have to make tradeoffs between expenses and savings to meet their goals. One version of the game focuses on budgeting decisions at the school level; another is designed for educators who make those decisions at the district level.
Plus: A few years ago, ERS introduced a game titled What Price is Right? focusing on teacher compensation. With options such as whether to give bonuses to teachers for boosting student test scores or rewarding educators for taking on leadership positions, the game was another way to help leaders consider how their decisions might affect different groups. The exercise is now part of a workshop package available on the ERS workshop.
Part of the Democratic Knowledge Project at Harvard University, the Declaration Resources Project supports teaching and learning about, and ongoing engagement with, the Declaration of Independence. One of the resources in development is Portrait of a Tyrant, a six-episode adventure game for students to learn about the Declaration of Independence, its historical context and contemporary relevance.
Could there be ghosts trapped in the basement of the SmithsonianNational Museum of American History? With the sudden and curious departure of her last intern, Museum Curator Isabella Wagner needs students’ help solving a mystery dating back to the Civil War.