Teacher Review For The Oregon Trail

Disappointing.

Jonathan F.
Technology coordinator
St. Patrick's Episcopal Day School
Washington, DC
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My Grades Pre-K, K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts
EdTech Mentor
My Rating 2
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned No
I Would Recommend It No
Setup Time Less than 5 minutes
How I Use It
Enrichment while students learn about the Oregon trail in social studies.
My Take
I am glad other educators are getting good things out of this app. Personally, though, I was disappointed. Too much of the game involved mindless tapping. (When you need to gather resources, for example, you walk around tapping them. It gets kind of silly after this simple pattern of walking around and tapping repeats itself more than once or twice.) I know that the original Oregon Trail game from the 80s had some video game sequences, but this app has them in a way that is out of proportion. The version of this app that we used also prompted us frequently to share our tiny accomplishments on Twitter. I'm in favor of badge-based credentialing systems, but turning every trivial accomplishment into a badge was at best a major distraction. At worst, it could be a personal privacy quagmire, especially if students under the age of 13 are playing, since COPPA and Twitter's terms of service do not permit users under the age of 13.