Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Let PacMan help you Review your Content!

This morning I read that Russel Tarr has created another fantastic webtool at  This one allows users to create a review game inside a game of PacMan.  As a child of the 80s, my curiosity was instantly heightened.  I clicked the link for later, thinking it would take me a while to investigate and try it out.  I was wrong.  This afternoon I created a game in under ten minutes.

Like my other favorite ClassTools (random name generator, breaking news generator, and SOLO hexagons), the creation of something usable only takes as long as it takes to type in information.  Step 1 is to input questions and answers in a screen that looks like this:

I typed in just 10 questions because I was anxious to preview. It's a very simple screen with some help and examples. I typed in my 10 questions followed by an asterisk and the correct answer. Step 2 is to click submit. It's that easy! You can also upload a CSV file with questions and answers.

Before play could begin, I had to answer one of the questions. The tool generated three incorrect answers that were close to my correct answer. Then the game begins, complete with music.  When PacMan dies, you can earn an extra life by answering more questions.

There is even a leaderboard! Delivering the game to students is also very easy.  You get a shareable link or embed code or QR code with the click of a button. Want to try your hand at my game on atomic structure?   

When I edit this game, I will probably select my own incorrect answers so that I can use it to address student misconceptions with this content. I will also add more questions. Otherwise, though, I thought my first, fast effort was fantastic!  I think this tool would be great for helping students memorize a set of information like math facts or polyatomic ions because the motivation is high to answer the questions quickly and correctly so you can getback to the game.  I think kids would enjoy this for any number of reasons, but with Pixels being released on July 24, there will be a buzz surrounding all things PacMan as the summer winds down this year.  What a fun way to review when it's time to go back to school!

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