Thanks to Tool Zeit for pointing this one out to me (see their helpful podcast and video demo below)!
Thursday, October 25, 2012
Appy-Picking Month- Plague, Inc
This one is for the right middle or high school student(s) who won't obsess over the macabre aspects of this engaging and very educationally relevant simulation game. Plague, Inc ($.99) is an app that challenges you to design and evolve a pathogen that has the greatest impact on infection and mortality worldwide. Sounds a bit scary, yes, but it is Halloween, and there is absolutely no gore. As the game begins, you can choose the country in which your infection starts, and through a simple game interface ("popping" bubbles as they appear worldwide), you earn points that allow you to "evolve" your pathogen in terms of its symptoms and abilities. In the process, many real-world biology concepts related to anatomy and physiology can be explored; for example, adding the insomnia symptom reduces resistance to the disease. New symptoms lead to yet more available new symptoms in an associative language process. As your disease spreads, you can monitor its progress in various countries, getting real-world information about each location and effects of transportation (plane and water traffic) etc. The pause feature will be useful in helping make sure you can stop and scaffold understanding and expression of curriculum concepts.