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Posts with tag school

15 Minutes of Fame: WoW goes to English class

From Hollywood celebrities to the guy next door, millions of people have made World of Warcraft a part of their lives. How do you play WoW? We're giving each approach its own 15 Minutes of Fame.

Remember when we interviewed the two teachers who were injecting motivation, teamwork, and pride into at-risk students via an after-school World of Warcraft program? Educators Lucas Gillispie and Peggy Sheehy are still at it -- and this time, they've scooted the gaming back squarely into school hours with an elective language arts enrichment class for 15 middle school students.

"Our kids are embarking on a Hero's Journey as they compare their own experiences in World of Warcraft to those of Bilbo Baggins in Tolkien's The Hobbit," explains Gillispie. "They're engaging in creative projects as well, such as live tweeting the events leading to Cataclysm from NPC's points-of-view (see #wowinschool hashtag). They're creating digital propaganda posters related to in-world events, writing riddles to share with players on their server, and learning leadership through their student guild."

Sounds great in theory -- but we wondered what the kids themselves thought about the program. So we asked three of them, all new to the World of Warcraft, what they think about the game itself, what they feel they're getting out of the class, and whether or not the experience has given them any new perspectives on gaming.

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Filed under: Druid, Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

WoW, Casually: A spring invitation to students who raid


Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player with limited playtime. This week we invite raiders who are in school to join us and try out being a casual.

Because our esteemed editor-in-chief was on NPR's "On Point" last week, I gave it a listen. As expected, the show took a few calls from people who are completely incapable of balancing their work and playtime -- people whose lives were "ruined by WoW." There was also the person who said that "you can't do anything without 24 other people," which we know is absolutely not the case. And the one that really caught my attention: the psychologist who gets panicked calls every spring from parents whose teens are playing so much WoW that they aren't going to pass.

It fascinates me that this is seasonal and also so last-minute. Additionally, I am curious as to whether there are other activities that get in the way during the spring that psychologists also get frantic calls about. I remember it being so hard to focus in the spring while in school -- even in a climate that doesn't have seasons. Summer is looming on the horizon with vacation, new opportunities and huge life changes. We're just looking for distractions at that time. For graduating students, it's called senioritis and it's been called that long before we had computers in our homes to play games. Regardless, it's an issue. But rather than risk screwing up opportunities for the rest of your life just to keep up with your raiding, it's time to give being casual a try. Here's why and how.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW, Casually

WoW, Casually: Playing WoW with your teen

Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player with limited playtime. Of course, you people with lots of playtime can read this too, but you may get annoyed by the fact that we are unashamed, even proud, of the fact that beating WoW isn't our highest priority. Take solace in the fact that your gear is better than ours, but if that doesn't work, remember that we outnumber you. Not that that's a threat, after all, we don't have time to do anything about it. But if WoW were a democracy, we'd win.

Last year, I talked about playing with preschoolers and reading-age children. Several months later, I'd like to continue the series by tackling the topic of teens. I'm now tempted to talk in tantalizing alliteration, but I really can't keep it up. Anyway...

Teens provide a completely different challenge than the young children we've discussed before. Teens are already extremely competent readers, experience Trade Chat-like talk in school on a regular basis and have the coordination skills required to fully play the game. So they don't need the coddling and constant supervision, but that doesn't mean that the benefits of parents playing with teens aren't just as valuable.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW, Casually

We Have a Tabard: Ring the bell, school's back in


Looking for a guild? Well, you can join ours! We have a tabard and everything! Check back for Amanda Dean talking about guilds and guild leadership in We Have a Tabard.

Drama is not the only issue to cause hardship among raiding guilds. We've seen guilds crumble and fall over new raid content. It seems we've come across another time-sensitive factor: the beginning of the school year. Guilds that have been blissfully progressing throughout the summer may be seeing their attendance plummet.

Remember folks, some things are more important than WoW. Education tops the list. It would be poor form to badger your scholastic members into raiding when they've got homework to do. Students also need a good night's sleep in order to perform successfully. This goes for college students as well as high schoolers, but they may have more flexibility in scheduling. In the end, WoW is just a video game and school affects the present and the future.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Guilds, Features, Raiding, (Guild Leadership) We Have a Tabard

Using WoW for learning in schools

We've heard about WoW in schools before, but usually it's at schools of higher learning, where they're studying social networks or how society evolves. But a group in North Carolina is planning to put WoW in schools in a different way: by using situations in World of Warcraft to develop literacy, mathematics, and other competencies. WoWinSchools has math lessons and other tests based around WoW terms and knowledge: one example question asks "Which types of heals produce a greater number of recovered hit points during an encounter?" Another wants to know "Which buff (a spell that enhances a character's abilities) is more effective for your character, Blessing of Kings or Blessing of Might?" The idea is to use situations that the kids are familiar with in World of Warcraft (raiding, for example), and apply higher level thinking to those situations.

There are even creative writing suggestions dedicated to the game, from writing an RP story about a character in Azeroth, to writing a song parody (that one should be taught by Professor Turpster) or designing a quest chain. And lest you think they're just joking around, there's a whole slew of research behind the idea, too, and it definitely makes sense: kids who play World of Warcraft are much more likely to be interested in problems about DPS and Healing rather than Susie and Bobby's apples that we added and subtracted back when we were kids in school.

It seems like the only place this is implemented is in one afterschool program -- while there are lots of good ideas here, it's not necessarily being used in many classrooms yet (and my guess is that not every student in schools would vibe with a World of Warcraft-based curriculum, either). But it is a plan in development, and anything that better helps teachers understand what their students are interested in is probably worthwhile.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Talents, Buffs

Barrens Chat: Guess who


Have you ever woken up and known you were going to have one of those days? It's been one of those days for going on a week now. Before you say anything, I went outside of the "lines" in a few places on purpose on my elemental there. The lines and I are having a disagreement, perhaps next week we shall come to a resolution of our differences.

This is something I would like to be doing right now. Maybe in a slightly larger facility, not to mention one without its own face. I once saw a screen shot on the World of Warcraft homepage that had a Gnome standing inside of her Voidwalker. So I wondered, you know those giant water elementals found here and there? Yeah, totally on top of that sport.

I thought now would be a good time to use this idea, seeing as how some people are starting school again soon. Missing summer? Try this!

See you next week!

Gallery: Barrens Chat

Spoiled RottenBubbles bubbles everywhereAlways a catchDead RingerRevolution evolutionAll hands on deck


Barrens Chat is a weekly comic strip that brings to light some of the stranger things in Azeroth. From emo oozes to mooching floozies, nothing is safe from the battered and bruised tablet of doom. Stop in weekly to see a new comic, spy on some old faces, or perhaps meet a new victim.

Filed under: Gnomes, Mage, Humor, Comics, Barrens Chat

Barrens Chat: Unwanted


Now, I know last week I said in a comment that I am trying something entirely new this week. However, that plan sort of backfired when I found out my scanner is no longer in the realm of the living, and those Spirit Healers apparently don't speak binary.

I've Wanted to put this comic up since I saw the movie. If you have not seen it, you might not get this unless you watched the movie previews, or have someone explain it.

Gallery: Barrens Chat

Spoiled RottenBubbles bubbles everywhereAlways a catchDead RingerRevolution evolutionAll hands on deck

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Filed under: Horde, Orcs, Tauren, Hunter, Comics, Barrens Chat

Tips for the youths applying to guilds this summer

This time of the year brings with it an influx of guild applications from the younger crowd. These applications are often done with zeal and lust for a summer's worth of gaming that is unappreciated by adult players. After all, school's out and what better way to enjoy the good weather than to spend it sitting in front of a computer screen?

My guild in particular has seen an increase of the 15 to 18 year old crowd applying to raid with us. Unfortunately many of these applications are not on par with what we're looking for in raider's gear and experience (we're done with the Black Temple and Mount Hyjal, and are working on the Sunwell). Everyone is also 18+ in our guild, and we'd like to keep it that way.

However, we have seen a couple of applications come our way that have stood out from the rest. While these people are young, they have shown excellent communications skills, along with solid understanding of their class and raid awareness. While we have covered applying to a guild before, I think it would be appropriate to talk for a moment about some tips for the younger crowd trying to get into a guild this summer.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

EU MVP Schwick takes a break

EU Forums MVP and community member (and friend of WoW Insider) Schwick, he of the Warcraft Weekly and the occasional "what we know" roundups, has decided to take a step back from posting as much in order to finish up his schooling. He's aiming to be a game developer, and so while he's still planning on doing the occasional roundup, he's stepping away from his weekly posts to focus on schoolwork.

Which is kind of a shame, as his posting was a huge boon to the community. But on the other hand, school is much more important-- focusing on school now will definitely let him do this kind of work more later.

So a big thanks yet again to Schwick for all his hard work, and here's wishing him good luck in his studies.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Forums

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