Teacher Review For Pettson's Inventions

Engaging puzzle game to get kids involved with design and systems thinking.

Steve I.
Classroom teacher
William Annin Middle School (Basking Ridge, NJ)
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My Grades 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
My Subjects Arts
EdTech Mentor
My Rating 3
Learning Scores
Engagement 4
Pedagogy 3
Support 4
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time Less than 5 minutes
Great for Creation
Further application
Small group
Student-driven work
Great with Advanced learners
Low literacy
Special needs
How I Use It
As a teacher of Game Design and Development I like to expose my students to a variety of games and look at them from an analytical point of view. I would encourage students to deconstruct the puzzle elements of the game and create a game modeled after this game. In the deconstruction phase I would have students reflect on the game mechanics and consider how the game was created and the nature of the puzzles.
My Take
I think this would be a good extension activity in the elementary classroom. It would be a great activity as a learning station or for kids who have earned extra time. The puzzles are fun and engaging. I like that the point of the game comes across fine with few words. This certainly provides the opportunity for ELL students and certain students with special needs as the language or reading would not be a limiting factor. One thing I am not crazy about is the fact that each puzzle clearly only has one solution and each item can only be placed in it's proper place. This makes it easy for a student to continue to just guess or drag items in the hopes that they will lock into their proper place. I do like the fact that there is a sandbox mode where students can create whatever type of invention they like. This brings a Papert-esque constructionist feel and would certainly encourage creativity compared to the activities that do not allow for creativity. Another interesting aspect is that there are several challenges to create a certain object rather than just trying to complete the 'mouse trap' like puzzles. I am sure students would enjoy playing in school and even outside of school. Definitely worthwhile for parents to purchase this app for their home devices.