Teacher Review For Alchemy ~ Genetics

A Tiger + A Lion = A Liger?

Classroom teacher
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My Rating 2
Learning Scores
Engagement 2
Pedagogy 1
Support 2
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned No
I Would Recommend It No
Setup Time Less than 5 minutes
Great for Creation
Further application
Student-driven work
How I Use It
I used the game at home first, once I realized how confusing it could be (the reading level) I showed the app to my students, but had to take additional time to explain to them all of its flaws. The students often did not understand the vocabulary being used. This was in a way a teaching tool in that I was able to explain a few terms along the way, but I also had to spend time explaining concepts I did not have time to explain. The main problem I find with the app is that it is too old for the age group it is intended for, and too young for high schoolers who would be able to understand the reading levels and laugh at the false uses of genetics. I would not reccommend using this app in the classroom. It might be a funny game, like angry birds, but I do not like it because it misguides our students about topics we will later have to straighten out.
My Take
I thought the concept of this app was brilliant! The problem came in when I downloaded the app and began to run the program. The ideas were neat, but the animals one could create were fictional. The kids love this, but it was such a bad idea for teaching accuracy in how genetis actually works. Kids love cartoons, and using their imagination, but as a teacher when you are trying to teach the students accurate information about genetics, and even hybrids this site has far too much fiction. I do not want my students thinking these fictional animals are real possibilities. I did not like the idea that the way adaptations work are through mixing animals (animals that obviously cannot reproduce together) with ideal traits one could create the perfect animal. This may be a funny thought, but it gives our students the wrong idea. It will be hard in high school to teach the students deeper concepts about adpatations occurring over many generations if they remember playing a game where a bird reproduced with a cat and made flying cats.