Classroom Use News

Classroom Use News

Ask Viraz

Earlier this summer we announced a new resource for getting started with Radix - Ask Viraz! Viraz is student in the Boston area who got into playing Radix through his school. He has been writing some tip sheets for other students who are new to the game to help them get going, and he'll continue to post new tips throughout this semester. Point your students toward his column in the forums to check out the tips, and encourage them to share their own tips as well!

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Math Content in Radix

We frequently field questions and concerns over the math content in the game. Radix currently has six quest lines for math - two for algebra, three for geometry, and one for statistics. While the biology content in the game is primarily applicable to high school, the math is more flexible. During our pilot this spring, we found that the math content works well in a variety of settings. The topics work very well for middle school, particularly the algebra quest lines. For high school, the content level seemed a bit low at times, though teachers reported that the game is a good way to reinforce and review concepts. What we want math teachers to keep in mind is that the math quests emphasize problem solving and reasoning. Calculating area and perimeter is simple, but solving an optimization problem requires additional thought. In statistics, we are not asking players to calculate the mean of a data set, but rather ask them to think about how a data set is collected or what descriptive statistic is best to summarize a data set. We want to give players an opportunity to use both math concepts and mathematical thinking in order to solve problems in real world situations. For some players, the tasks will seem too easy, for some they will be quite difficult. Given all the variability, we're excited to get more feedback on how the math quests fit in with different grade and student ability levels. Drop us a note in the forums or contact us using the form on the website and let us know what you think!

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Curriculum

Teacher Resources

Did you know about all the helpful resources for teachers using Radix with their students? When you're logged in with your teacher account, from the Dashboard click on Teacher Resources and you'll find all kinds of information.

  • The Quests section contains an index of all the quests in the game, organized by quest line (and therefore topic area). Each one links to a description of the quest and its learning objectives, along with connecting questions to facilitate discussion and even additional resources outside of Radix. These pages will help you connect quests to your curriculum even if you don't have time to play through yourself.
  • The Tools section shows a list of all the tools players may need to use in the game, with tutorial videos on how to use those tools. The tutorial videos may be helpful for students as well as teachers. Many videos are already posted, and others are coming soon.
  • The Dashboard section link to pdf instructions on how to create classes and manage your classes, as well as how to use the Class Progress section to monitor students' work and even assign quest lines. This pdf can be viewed online or printed and referenced on paper for those that prefer it.
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Lower Sabetlan Marketplace


Once you've finished the algebra quests in Sedge's Edge, you will have earned the right to trade in the legendary Lower Sabetlan Market. This is where the real wheeling and dealing goes on, but you have to be smart to get deals here. The secret to this marketplace is that the values fluctuate day by day. A clever trader will watch the market for a few days then pounce on a deal at the right moment. In addition, the quests given by Koling and Witani are open-ended and replayable. The quest-givers don't evaluate how well you did so it's up to you to decide if you could have done better, and compare your results with your fellow Curiosi.

Teachers, encourage your students to set goals for themselves or each other, such as seeing who can get the most zorbits possible, who's the first to get 20 fluffins, or who has the widest variety in their trading kit.

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Design
Curriculum

How you can still be part of the pilot this spring

We’ve been getting several questions asking whether it is
too late to sign up for the pilot. The resounding answer is that
it’s
definitely NOT too late to join us for the spring play session
.  We’re eager to get as many teachers and
students playing as possible. The more people who play, the more we can learn
about the game! Here are a couple of additional common questions that have come
up lately:

How late in the year does the pilot go?  We’ll be collecting data from the game, the
assessments and doing classroom visits up through the end of June. Can’t start
using the game until late May or June? No problem. We’re still happy to have
you participate

What if I only have time do one quest line? That’s not a problem. We want
teachers to use the game as it fits in their classroom. While we’d love to have
students playing multiple quest lines, if you only have time to do one, you can
still take part.

Do you have any suggestions for how to incorporate the game
into the end of the school year? 
Absolutely. These are based on
ideas we’ve had from teachers about how they plan to try it out beyond standard
classroom and/or homework use.

  •        Half your class gone for state exams? Use Radix
    with the other students

  •        Students need some extra practice in certain
    areas leading up to finals? Use the corresponding quest lines to help give them
    extra practice

  •        Looking for something to do after AP/IB/final
    exams? Use the game as a way to continue to engage students with content

  •        Want to give students exposure to new topics or
    ideas that weren’t covered in this year’s curriculum? Pick out a few quest
    lines and let the game challenge students to learn something new

Enroll in the pilot here: 

http://bit.ly/HV8ymZ

 

We encourage teachers to sign up for the pilot, give the
game a try and let us know all the unique ways that Radix can fit into existing
curriculum. As always, feel free to contact
radixhelp@mit.edu
with any questions.

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Research

Radix Forums

Did you know we have discussion boards where teachers, students, and anyone who plays Radix can go and chat about the game? Teachers can share ideas on how to connect the Radix content to their lessons. Students can look for advice on where to find Dr. Jopanda or how to breed a fast, plaid schloggen. And everyone can ask and answer questions to help their fellow players along. We're excited to build the community and have you all connect around tips, tricks, and strategies in the game - but in order to do that, we need YOU! Go visit the forums, ask and answer questions, post your ideas, and be a part of the excitement!

Teachers, get your students involved by asking them to think about and respond to the questions in these forum posts:
Travel Destinations
Made Anything Cool Lately?
Radix Recipes

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Redefining Homework

In this TEDx talk, physics teacher Alex Rawson talks about how we need a paradigm shift in the types of homework students are asked to do. Instead of trying to force kids into doing it, why not make it so fun and engaging that they will be eager to do it. This is the same attitude toward teaching that we try to embody in all our projects at the Ed Arcade, so we were very happy that Alex gave a shout-out to Radix! In essence, make homework exciting, authentic, and collaborative - much like real world STEM problems can be. Thanks Alex, we'll be seeing you in-game and we'll try to build some castles to seize soon!

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The Radix Endeavor is an educational MMO game in development at The MIT Education Arcade, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

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