How I Use It
Plague Inc. is a game that I have been familiar with for some time, but I just recently tried a lesson with a few of my students. The goal of the game is to manipulate a specific disease in such a way that it destroys the human population, and to do so in the least amount of time possible. My goal for the lesson was to get my participants to understand how physical environments can affect the spread of different diseases. They accomplished this by adapting the disease to make it more likely to survive in inhospitable regions, while encouraging the germs ability to travel through both man made and natural methods. On the easiest setting, the students were able to fairly quickly win the game, with little effort needed to alter the environmental limitations. On the more difficult levels, it took quite a bit more strategy to accomplish the desired results. This application worked well to illustrate the ways in which diseases spread, and all of the factors that are involved. However, it took quite a bit of time for the students to gain this information via Plague Inc., which is time that could have been used to further research the topic.
I believe that this product could be used as a teaching tool, but in a very limited way that helps to reinforce the factors that are needed for diseases to spread effectively. I enjoyed the interactivity of the lesson, and watching the students put in the needed strategic effort to solve the limitations presented. It could be helpful, particularly for students that have additional time available, and are waiting for their classmates to finish an activity. With that said, I do not believe that I would use it on a regular basis, or more than once for any student.