Monday, November 24, 2008

New Flash Review Game!

After great success with the online Flash Jeopardy game, there is now a new member of the Flash Review family! It's amazing what you can do with Flash, php, and 5 hours to kill waiting for parent-teacher conferences to start.

The newest Flash review game is called Flash Board Game. The game itself plays pretty much like any standard board game:

  1. You can play with up to 6 teams. Each team has a different brightly colored dot as their "virtual gamepiece." These dots are drag and drop to allow movement around the board via a SmartBoard or just a standard mouse.
  2. There is also a spinner in the center of the board. Each turn begins by spinning the spinner (by clicking on it) to see if the question will be worth an advance of 1,2,3, or 4 squares.
  3. After spinning the spinner, the player clicks on whatever square they would be moving to next. (ie. if you spin a 2, you would click 2 squares in front of you). A question will appear. Answering the question correctly allows the team to move forward the number of spaces revealed by the spinner.
  4. There are also Chance squares, marked with question marks. Landing on these squares reveals either a reward or penalty, such as moving ahead or back, losing or gaining a turn, etc.
  5. The first team to reach the end wins the game.
As always, I look forward to hearing from anyone who uses this game in their classroom or elsewhere. It is of course free and available for PC and Mac users.

Best of all, if you have created game files for the Jeopardy Review Game, they will also work in the Flash Board Game. (just make sure they have 25 questions, or some squares will show up blank).

Have fun!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wordle Word Map...

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.
How much is it worth when the picture itself includes a thousand words? The sheer math of it all boggles the mind.

I recently stumbled across a free website called Wordle. The Wordle site lets a user submit any text or RSS feed to the site. The site then uses some Java to generate a word cloud based on the content that has been submitted. The end result is a word cloud where each word is given a font size based on the number of times that word shows up in the text.

It can be a great way to get a feel for the overall message of a document or web feed without reading the entire text. Submitting the RSS feed for this blog reveals the word cloud below:
**Click the image for a larger view**

As you can see, my site content focuses heavily on the phrases: teachers, website, review, games, etc.

It can be interesting to enter the text of well known documents such as the Declaration of Independence or speeches from politicians to see which words jump at you from the cloud.

Give it a try!