Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Alice Christie and the ARGuing Project: Tower of Babel

This week, I explored Dr. Alice Christie's website. In it, I discovered a stew of resources that she has gathered throughout her forty-plus years of teaching. Her primary philosophies include: teaching teachers how to become lifelong learners and how to restructure their class space to encourage collaborative learning between themselves, their students, as well as other students and teachers world wide. Because technology has become such an enabling force for lifelong learners, her website focuses on incorporating technology in the class space. One of the most exciting things I came across was alternate game realities.

I followed link after link trying to learn more about ARGs (alternate game realities) and finally concluded that there is most certainly a novelty to the idea, but it just isn't teacher-time-budget friendly yet. The whole idea of an ARG is to create a collaborative game that connects a variety of classmates and resources in order to teach many things at once; most obviously the lesson-- albeit science, math, history, literature, art, music,.. It also teaches teamwork, how to reach out all over the world via internet, and how to use online tools. It also has the potential to get students to seek answers from libraries, museums, art gallas, community members, etc.

In my research, I came across the Tower of Babel ARG which was used by teachers across Europe to teach language education. The website I have linked shares the how's, what's, and testimonials from the teachers involved. I have posted below a conversation between one of the project's team members and myself so that you could see what is to come and how helpful they were.


I am a student of Elementary Education at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL. I currently volunteer in two 4th grade classrooms and I witness disinterest among my students as a result of "old school" teaching techniques. I am very interested in learning more about ARG's designed for the Elementary level, more specifically ages 9-12, so that I can implement new teaching strategies in my future class room.

How can I become involved in an ARG project? Can I expect to see one designed for my age level kids?

Thank you for your time,


P.S. You can also view my EDM 310 class blog at http://cappsaedm310fall2009.blogspot.com/

Dear Anthony

Thank you for your interest.

The project has just completed its final meeting and we will be placing on our website a number of papers, including a methodology that explains how educators can use an ARG in their schools and an evaluation of the effectiveness of our ARG on student motivation.

We will also be placing a paper with a number of 'Use case scenarios' that will suggest how flexible ARGs can be and that they can be adapted to all levels of education and subjects, including inter-disciplinary.

The platform that we constructed for our project, on a Moodle platform, is being offered for use to educators. A reasonable familiarity of Moodle is extremely helpful.

The project team are also offering consulting services to schools to help them use ARGs in their schools.

I can be contacted for further information by email or Skype.

Best regards

Joel Josephson
Partner ARGuing project

I think it is an incredible idea, and I hope that an easy to use program is created for teachers like myself to start applying this revolutionary teaching style in our classrooms.

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