In mid November we did a field trip to TeacherGaming in Tampere together with the Finnish Swedish iLearning tutors. We had the honor to listen to COO Mikael Uusi-Mäkelä who talked about what happened after MinecraftEDU and showed us a very neat tool: TG Analytics!
To be able to monitoring your students while they play any game, connected to this analytic platform, would be like a dream come true. It will save so much time when following up students activities! Best of all, when you see what skills they have practice and which ones they have not, you should be able to push out that needed skill to their next log in. That was actually the feature that hooked me.
Back home I immediately contacted them and signed up as a beta tester.
And please keep this in mind; the platform is not ready!
You are a beta tester.
Some people might look at it and think it’s the complete product - which it's not - and leave it when they see something broken. When you see something broken you report it, that's why you are a beta tester!
With the experience I've got working with this kind of tools is, it has to fulfill mainly two things else teachers and schools won't start use it
1. The price has to be low.
With that said, usually 500€ sound expensive while 350 students which cost 2€/school year suddenly is affordable (even though the price just turned higher).
2. It has to be simple.
Teachers - or parents - learning curve has to be low. The tool has to be that simple so you could learn it within 5 minutes. Already to use tech usually stress teachers enough to avoid adopt them, no matter how awesome they might be!
However, the games themselves can of course be advanced, Students and/or youth most often surprise the older generation ;)
Does TeacherGaming meets my requirements?
As they're in beta phase there's no price tag just yet, but what I've understand from my discussions with the dev team it won't be expensive. The tool itself will most probably be free but the games connected to the platform will cost some.
I just love how simple, clean and easy it is.
First I log in to the platform and I create my class
Simple right? I name the class, an ID is generated and now my class is up! Next, we add a student, it's as easy as create a class. We write the students name, and we also get a student id.
The skill tree is another awesome feature. You should be able to pick your "own" curriculumno matter if you're teaching grade 1-3 in US or grade 4-6 in Sweden.
The Dashboard, it's where everything happens and you can follow your students (or childrens) progress. But hey? No games added yet? Nope, students havn't logged in so there's nothing to see.
But as I started a code thinking course, I'd like my student to play Switch&Glitch. I've installed the game on the device and now my student log in, using the class id and her student id. As soon as she, my student or actually daughter, are logged in to the game, real-time information will start to show up in TG Analytics. How awesome is that?
When I click on my student I will get up more information about the skills she's learning while playing the game!
Why don't sign up as a beta tester you too?