Home > No. 55 Whyville, Personality Lessons, and Gapminder

No. 55 Whyville, Personality Lessons, and Gapminder (2010年02月10日)

カテゴリー: The Treasure Hunt Club
Marcel Van Amelsvoort
(Kanagawa Prefectural College of Foreign Studies)
Are you looking for a good place to send your adolescent learners for
an interactive learning experience on the web? Whyville might be a
good choice. Whyville is an educational site that is a little like a
controlled 2D Second Life with a focus on education. Young users make
their own avatars and then explore the island of Whyville, playing

educational games and interacting (through chat) with learners from
all over the world. The website states that “inside Whyville, citizens
learn about art history, science, journalism, civics, economics, and
really so, so much more. Whyville works directly with the Getty, NASA,
the School Nutrition Association, and Woods Hole Oceanographic
Institution (to name just a few) to bring incredible educational
content to kids in an incredibly engaging manner. Today, there are
countless learning games and activities on Whyville...which is
probably one of the reasons Education Daily states that Whyville is
one of ‘edu-gaming's biggest successes’." Registering as a teacher in
Whyville allows you to bring your students on and manage their
accounts. Interesting content and a controlled, secure environment for
young learners with a little proficiency:

Every textbook series seems to have a unit on personality. It’s one of
those “high interest” topics that textbooks often manage to turn into
a boring lesson. But it doesn’t have to be that way. The web is full
of sites that playfully help users think about their own personalities
and compare them to people, things, or characters. On Facebook, you
can take tests that ask what type of beer you are, what decade best
fits your personality, etc., etc., etc. But you don’t have to get onto
Facebook. Recently there are many sites on the web that analyze your
personality and compare you to something or someone. They can be a lot
of fun and a nice introduction to some of the ways people talk about
personality or their characters, and like and dislikes. They work on
the assumption that everyone is familiar with what they are being
compared with. Below is a list of different sites that you may want to
use with your learners, organized by what your personality is compared
with. They are taken from Kyle Mawer and Graham Stanley’s Digital Play
blog, a blog that focuses on using web games and game-like sites for
language learning (http://digitalplay.info/blog/).

Which Star Wars character are you like?

Which High School Musical character are you like?

Which Twilight character are you like?

Which superhero are you like?

Which Harry Potter character are you like?

And finally Gapminder. This collection of statistical tools and data,
along with videos and other resources can help us (you, me, teachers,
students, world citizens) understand social, economic and
environmental development at local, national and global levels. Watch
some videos to better understand the world and how it is developing.
Use the tools to compare regions or countries. A statistical
reference, a lesson in social development, a challenge to racist
mindsets: all are possible uses of this site. Take a look when you
have some free time. http://www.gapminder.org/

See you next month.