This post “Reconnecting Aboriginal Youths through Game-Based Learning“ from radically.me alerts us this example of game-based learning that’s worth sharing.
Combining an innovative role-playing game with an extensive array of historical resources, PathoftheElders.com is a digital space for Mushkegowuk Cree youths to reconnect with their culture and history. Available online for the first time are rare photographs from Saint Paul University’s Deschâtelets collection, historic audio recordings of Mushkegowuk Cree narratives, video clips of interviews with Elders, and six interactive games focused on developing leadership and negotiation skills.
Created in partnership with the Mushkegowuk Council, Neh Naak Ko, Carleton University, BlackCherry Digital Media, Archives Deschâtelets, Learning Methods Group, and Pinegrove Productions, PathoftheElders.com represents a milestone in quality online resources for Aboriginal youths.
Stan Louttit of Neh Naak Ko reflects, “On The Path Of The Elders is a unique resource that presents a view of our Elders and treaty history within the medium of the internet. It’s important for adults and youths to use this site and to learn in a fun way something of our history. Aboriginal life in the communities is changing so much that I believe we need these types of resources to document, preserve and present our history, teachings, values, language and culture for people to learn about.”
In addition to the youth-focused materials, educators can easily integrate PathoftheElders.com into the classroom by accessing the free Teachers’ Guides and educational kits available online.
This project was made possible with the support of the Department of Canadian Heritage through the Canadian Culture Online Strategy. Created with additional financial assistance from Indian and Northern Affairs Canada and the Inukshuk Fund. The game and related resources are all free.
Gaming is an immersible way to build awareness and resonance in virtual world. Other good games of this kind include:
Mission US - Two very sweet educational video games that doesn’t feel educational. It’s a role-playing game with interactive scenarios developing according to players’ choices. Designed for middle school US history but it can be used in grades 5-12.
The Jamestown Online Adventure Game - In this alternative history game students chose different strategies for the Jamestown pioneers. The students become the Captain of the Jamestown Colony, they will find if they can do better than the real colony? The Jamestown Online Adventure Game does a nice job helping students develop a sense of both what happened and why it happened. From the same site “History Globe”, there are Oregon Trail Virtual Tour and Anglo-Apache Conflicts with interactive maps and related documnets.
Actually, there are tons of free historical games, interactives and simulations on the web. Playing history aggregates info. on these resources in a simple, searchable database making it easy to find, rate, and review historical games. There are currently 126 shared games. It’s a collaborative directory for reviewing and sharing information, hosted by Trevor Owens and Jim Safley.
More about similar examples of learning history through games(including commercial games), read: Learning History by Making History.