Angry Birds at School

I came across these Angry Birds websites last week and forwarded them on to our Head of Physics. She was very excited about them – anything to engage boys more with Physics – and said they had made her day.

The Physics of Angry Birds (Rhett Allain)

Angry Birds in the Physics Classroom (Frank Noschese/Michael Magnuson)

Introducing Projectile Motion Using Angry Birds (John Burke)

Angry Birds and Physics (Peter Kupfer)

So, what is it that makes Angry Birds (a game where you use a slingshot to shoot birds to destroy green pigs) successful in the classroom?  According to this  SmashApp post, there are a lot of things teachers could learn from Angry Birds to make their lessons more interesting, and to make learning more engaging:

  • Mix simplicity and challenge – just the right amounts at just the right time,
  • Allow trial and error learning, then reward with mastery,
  • Think visually – visualize everything.

Angry Birds and Books

(Image & information from:
http://blog.smashapp.com/2011/04/01/3-simple-things-teachers-could-learn-from-angry-birds/
)

Similarly, Josselin Perrus writes that Angry Birds, not generally considered a serious game, successfully meets the challenges of being both engaging and educational. It teaches mechanics – forces, acceleration, parabolas and centre of mass – while at the same time encouraging a player to learn from failure and become successful.

Learner-Centered e-Teaching and Motivation

I saw this video on Judy O’Connell’s blog HeyJude, and really appreciated it. 

When used in the classroom, the power of technology means that learning will become more vibrant, exciting, engaging and personally relevant to students. Teachers will be perceived as ‘credible, interested and current’ – in lives where currency is everything, where students have newsfeeds on their laptops and sports scores on their mobile phones. “Students these days don’t see most teachers as current, even though they may respect their knowledge.”

Students feel so comfortable in an internet world – they have ownership of it; its what they do on a daily basis, and “we have to be a part of the world students are living in” if switched-on students are what we want.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6HQl9F2UMc

This video was created by the Memorial university of newfoundland and Labrador, and they have also created two others that link to this one: 

Learner Centered e-Teaching: Part 1  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6b0Yp9mQ6bE

Learner Centered e-Teaching: Part 2   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wpat_JkqgPA