These are a set of Flash game makers that you can use either as stand alone games (.exe files) or can be embedded into a .html file or as part of your website. The games are fun and kids love them. They come with names such us Walk the Plank, Penalty Shootout or Fling the Teacher.
The games have been produced by Andrew Field, a teacher himself, so the games are guaranteed to be both educational and fun. The great thing about his games is that quite a few of them are totally free. Some of the other games are available to purchase and the price is very good, in comparison with other, really expensive software knocking about.
To download these free game makers, visit his website www.contentgenerator.net
I recently created a website called www.AsiSeHace.net with lots of interactive exercises and worksheets to help my pupils learn Spanish.
Having your own website can be very useful as well as rewarding and it doesn’t have to cost you a penny! I have found that, not only can I tailor the content to suit my own pupils, but it also improves communication with them. Apart from the work that you do to get it all started, a website can then be maintained with very little effort.
Here is how I did it:
•First of all you need some web space. These days there are lots of Internet companies that will give you free web-space, just Google the words free web space and tons of companies will come up. I personally prefer to pay (a small amount) for my web-space because, as well as getting better support, it does not have annoying publicity and it’s generally more reliable. I use Streamline for mine, a company based here in the UK (Derby, I think) that is very good value for money, click the link below for more details.
•You then need a html editor, this is a programme that allows you to edit your website before you put it on the Internet. Ideally you need a WYSIWYG editor (that stands for What You See Is What You Get), particularly if you are new to the whole web design business, as I was. You can get specialist software, such as Adobe’s Dreamweaver, but why pay hundreds of pounds when you can use open source programmes for free. Open source means that it is developed by its users, but rest assured: these “users” are generally people who know more about programming than you or me. In my opinion, the best of these free WYSIWYG programmes around is NVU (pronounced N-view). Programmes such as NVU are, for all intents and purposes and unless you are a serious web developer, all you will ever need!
A few weeks ago, I searched for Languages Online (the languages website run by the Royal Grammar School in High Wycombe) on Google when I stumbled across an Australian site run by the Department of Education & Training of the state of Victoria also called, confusingly, Languages Online. Now, the Australian Languages Online also has French and German exercises (as well as Italian and Indonesian! but sadly no Spanish) which are ideal for KS3 languages as far as I could see, but what really caught my attention is the fact that they generously allow you to download the software they have used to create some of the games so that you can create your own games for use with your interactive whiteboard or in the ICT classroom. You could also, of course, use them in your own website, as I have done in AsíSeHace.net.
I don’t see why the game makers should be used only with languages. I am sure they can be adapted for every subject in the curriculum and are ideal for vocabulary, starter activities and plenaries (perhaps you can think of one or two more uses).
When I first decided to develop a website, www.AsiSeHace.net, to help my students of GCSE and A level Spanish, I thought it would be a good idea (not the first one to have it, I am sure!) to add a Forum so that my pupils could ask aquestion whenever it occurred to them, not just in the classroom, but also at home.
Whenever I took my MFL classes to the ICT room to work on, say, Languages Online, it struck me that pupils would often hit the same stumbling block and 10 or 12 hands would go up all at once and I would have to answer the same question 10 or 12 times.
I thought it would be great if I could answer the question just once and make the answer available for all to see, all the time, particularly if I wanted my pupils to work on my website for homework: I certainly did not want half the class to turn up to my lesson without the homework because they did not understand either what was asked of them or they did not know the answer.
Essentially, I realised later, I was removing a possible reason why some pupils would not do their homework. If they said that they did not understand something, I’d say to them why did you not get in touch via the Forum?