Spore is the hottest game on the
market, and, as with so many serious
games (see last issue), educators
are grabbing it to teach biology,
community, planning, you-name-it.
The September issue of PC World says
Spore is "a groundbreaking evolution
simulation where you foster life,
from its single-celled origins to
its spread as a space-faring
social-networking features set i
apart from other games."
How will you create the universe?
With Spore you can nurture your
unique creature through
five stages of evolution: Cell,
Creature, Tribe, Civilization, and
Space. Or if you prefer, spend as
much time as you like making
creatures, vehicles, buildings and
spaceships with Spore’s unique
the site: Create Your Universe from
Microscopic to Macrocosmic - From
tide pool amoebas to thriving
civilizations to intergalactic
starships, everything is in your
hands. Share with the World - Everything
you make is shared with other
players and vice versa, providing
tons of cool creatures to meet and
new places to visit.
The site has several videos to
introduce you to the platform. The
Creature Creator is free. Aside from
allowing students to build creatures
that will try to survive in
different environments, it will give
them lots of mouse practice! The
whole game, itself, is just under $50.00.
If you play Spore with students
or at home, drop us a note and let
us know what you think! Or better,
go to our CHI Resources wiki (above)
and enter your comments on the
Activities for Students page.
Are We Smart Thinking?
in the year, in the March issue, I
announced the availability of a
fantastic (and free!) resource,
especially for GED students. Below
is a reprint of that information.
Ann Miller's program in the Four
Corners is getting on board, and I
invite everyone to at least examine
the tutoring services at the
The service is offered by the
Colorado Department of Labor and can
be accessed through the e-Colorado
learning portal at
Sue Klebold at
firstname.lastname@example.org if you
need help getting started.
FROM THE MARCH ISSUE
often have you asked or heard the
question, "How can I possibly manage
multi-level classes?" Here's one
Colorado Department of Labor and
Employment (CDLE) has made a limited
number of online tutoring hours
Center partners in Colorado.
an online tutoring service, gives
students an opportunity to work with
live tutors on the Internet through
unscheduled or pre-scheduled
whiteboard chat sessions. Students
may also submit papers or questions
in a number of academic subjects,
and receive a critique of their
writing or written answers to their
questions within 24 hours. Tutoring
in math is available in Spanish as
well as English.
you have one or more students who
need extra help? Get them online
with a pro who can instruct them
individually while you go on with
your instruction to others.
Smarthinking has over 800 teachers
all over the world, over 80% of whom
have PhD's in their topic of
instruction. Our students will need
an introduction to the system, and I
suggest that you walk them through a
short tutoring session. They will
need to know how to read and type,
of course, since the instruction is
somewhat text-based. However, the
use of the interactive whiteboard
allows a lot of variety in how
topics are presented and discussed.
Just another free resource out there
waiting to be used... [If you are an
AEFLA program, step one is to
contact Sue Klebold (contact info
below). Sue will help you.] Center
staff will register the student
through our e-Colorado learning
portal. After that, you and the
student may access tutoring from any
computer with Internet connectivity.
In fact, register yourself as well,
and check out the resources so that
you can select the right student for
more information or clarification,
contact Sue Klebold at (303)
in our American culture, is precious
and fleeting, I know. But do stop
and smell this rose. At least
explore the resource and determine
how well it can help your students!