Focusing on learning through doing, entrants in the REVERE Awards for Beyond the Classroom allow users to grow through imagination, exploration, and more. Interested in more high quality resources that provide valuable learning experiences after class time is over? Read below for information on several resources highlighted as finalists in the Play and Learn categories.
Beyond the Classroom – Play
Classroom – Social Sciences and History finalist
The idea for Mayan Mysteries came from my time as a professional archaeologist. My goal was to bring the archaeological experience into the classroom in a fun, meaningful way. So, Mayan Mysteries includes basic archaeological activities such as excavating and identifying artifacts. But since a big part of archaeology is travel and cultural experience, I also thought it would be fun to have players travel into the past and actually talk to the Maya people. I brought in Robert Sharer, a Maya expert, to make sure the game was not only fun, but authentic and historically accurate. With his input I was able to create an immersive learning experience that teaches players so much more about who the Maya were, and still are, than any textbook or video could. Teaching about the role of archaeologists in preserving culture was also important, particularly to Robert, so we incorporated a lot of information about good archaeological practices and respect for other cultures.
Beyond the Classroom – Play finalist
Book Creator started out as an idea for a self-publishing tool, the brainchild of children's author Ally Kennen and her husband Dan Amos, a software developer who'd just left his job with Nokia. It was obvious that the iPad was going to be a big deal, and the ideal platform to make publishing accessible to everyone. But soon after launching the app in 2011, Dan realized that it was educators that were the ones who were going to benefit most from the app. Teachers across the world started reaching out to Dan and asking for updates and requesting features. Before long the app was being shaped in a way that put teachers and students in the driving seat. We love working with teachers and seeing what students make with the app!
Nearly everyone enjoys shopping — some more than others. The inspiration behind Renegade Buggies was to marry fun retail experiences with the very serious and necessary need to know how to make quick, smart spending decisions. Recognizing a void of financial literacy resources available for parents and children to learn together, longtime partners NCFL and Dollar General Literacy Foundation got together to create a fun and accessible means for families to talk about and better understand basic financial literacy concepts.
We thought, what better way to connect with a large audience than an endless-runner-style, 3D video game that anyone can play, for free, on their smart phones? Using a video game to open up familial dialogue about basic financial literacy skills and how to make smarter purchasing decisions is analogous to hiding cauliflower in macaroni and cheese; the gamification of financial lessons engages users in learning that is easy-to-digest, enjoyable, and nutritious.
Little Scholar Tablet – SchoolZone Publishing Company
Beyond the Classroom – Learn finalist
Having sold over 150 million workbooks to date, School Zone knows a think or two about creating the most helpful educational content for kids and they took all that wonderful content and created a kids tablet, Little Scholar. Little Scholar launched in 2014 to rave reviews from media and consumers alike as its jam-packed with lessons based on each of the “core curriculum” subjects for preschoolers, kindergartners, and first graders including math, reading, spelling, logic, creativity, and geography.
Dilly’s Tree House – Rainbow Concepts and Robert-Leslie Publishing
Beyond the Classroom – Learn finalist
Classroom – Interdisciplinary Resources WINNER
Dilly's Tree House empowers families to explore, interact, and create together through stories, music and movement, and hands-on constructive and imagination sparking activities. The inspiration behind Dilly's Tree House came from the kids and parents engaged in InvestiGator Club Pre-K classrooms. We received many requests from parents and teachers for ideas and materials that could extend InvestiGator Club characters and learning activities into the home. So, we decided to create a product for families to use to extend school learning by fostering curiosity, creativity, imagination, and learning through monthly investigation boxes delivered right to the child at home.
Read more about these and other finalists at the 2015 REVERE Awards Gallery. For more information on the REVERE Awards, go to www.REVEREawards.org. Sign up to get involved with the 2016 REVERE Awards, as an entrant or a judge.