How I Use It
I introduced the site on my classroom site and asked the students to dive into the game playing with the caveat that they would be sharing out their experience. The product seemed to appeal to fifth graders, but became challenging quickly for lower grades. Students liked the game playing features and the ability to make virtual friends. However, they quickly became bored with the site as they dug deeper and found the games overly challenging with little scaffolding. There is a teacher dashboard component that allows a class to be set up and assigned tasks can be sent out to individual students. Sending out tasks on an individual basis allowed for some flexibility and practice of content for students. However, use of the site for an extended time period seemed less than optimal.
Students were initially drawn to the site by the engaging graphics. They quickly found the games to be challenging and the site difficult to navigate which resulted in confusion. Directions on how to play the game were unclear and also confusing. Students complained about the need to complete a level (game) before moving forward. One nice component of the site is the ability for students to make friends with other players in the virtual world. However, students were frustrated and impatient when friend requests were ignored. Another component that students seemed to gravitate towards was the option to challenge other players to a game. Challenging others was a motivator for students to continue playing the game; otherwise I think many of the students would have abandoned the site.