Tag Archives: games

Winter Break – Bingo!

Images of Christmas, New Years, Chanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Solstice from Open Clip Art https://bingobaker.com/view/1862418

It’s that time of year again! We are slowing down for the end of term, and gearing up (geeking up?) for the winter break. It’s always a good plan to have some extra activities available for those days where so many people are stuck at home. Following on the heels of last year’s tech comics & coloring books, here’s a collection of bingo options for the IT community!

Some of the bingo cards are designed to be played in groups with a caller, while others are designed to be interactive,  with the player filling in the card as they explore a virtual or game space or watch an event or TV show. You can either play bingo from themed cards designed by other folk, or you can make your own. If the kids are getting wild, you might consider having them design their own bingo cards with one of the many online bingo generators or apps. I’ve tried a few, and am rather fond of Bingo Baker, which has a kid-friendly URL, a community of folk sharing ones they’ve already made (please proof them before showing them to a kid), and tools to make and share your own. EduBaker is another option, similar, but a little less polished.

With Bingo Baker, it will randomly generate a number of different bingo cards from the same set of terms or phrases, it adjusts the text to fit the box, and it provides statistics on how many rounds to expect before someone shouts BINGO! For kids, you might suggest that they create a Bingo set of terms on one of their hobbies, or a favorite TV or Netflix show, or a favorite game. With BingoBaker you can also modify or build upon collections someone else already made, so you can customize after you find something on a topic you like. It is also possible to include images or drawings, and you could make a bingo card for spotting cars on those long drives.

Want to have something quick to print and use? There are, obviously, a lot of bingo cards already available online. Here are some along themes appropriate for your IT holiday party or winter gathering.

Of particular interest to me was the new IT security bingo game created by University of California-Irvine as an interactive educational activity for their students. Pretty darned clever! I wonder how it’s been received, or if this would be something to try here.  

If you want something that doesn’t have the risks of the big community collections for younger kids, Chris Osric made a very simple bingo card generator you could explore, and here’s a popular Anime-Bingo generator. There are also guidelines and tips in WikiHow and Instructables for making your own bingo cards, and more.  Examples include the basics, Avengers Bingo (visual), Comic Con Bingo (visual), Hipster Bingo (visual), Human Bingo (an ice breaker for parties), Super Mario, and Super Bowl Bingo for that most magical day (although you might prefer WIRED’s Superbowl Ad Bingo!). Check out these example Comic Con Bingo cards from New York, San Diego, Denver, Dash of Different. There are a TON of cosplay bingo options, but in the interests of remaining family friendly, I’m limiting the options here to the picture-based one from Tampa Bay Times (pdf), Comrade Comics and Anime Expo (both also visual), and the text-based one from AnimeCons.  If you have Arduino geeks in your house, you can make a bingo number generator.  

Last but not least, there are also a number of more family-friendly bingo cards already designed around various geeky and nerdy themes. Here are a few, just for fun, including some that are visual for preschoolers and non-readers. Some of these focus on critical thinking, by scanning for specific patterns of plot or character deficiencies, script crutches, and similar ways to watch a program more thoughtfully. There’s content here for a range of ages, from preschool to high school, so be sure to check them out before giving to the younger crowd.

Have you found or made some you enjoyed? Share them in the comments!

Science Games on Twitter — Hashtags of the Week (HOTW): (Week of January 27, 2014)

Games? On Twitter? Oh, my, yes. And the games, while quite entertaining, also foster serious purposes, from engagement in educational outcomes and flipping the classroom to efforts to reimagine the name of peer-review and professional publication. Here are a few examples (#GreenGlam, #SixWordPeerReview, and #PrincessBrideScience), showing beauty, humor, fun, wit, and some rather insightful thoughts.


I was struck by the creativity of the #GreenGlam project from the Jahren Lab at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. From what I’ve been able to piece together, it seems that #GreenGlam started life as a “gamification” of a learning exercise for the students there. Luckily for the rest of us, it didn’t stop there, but garnered views, pictures, tweets, and engagement from a broader community. I can easily imagine using this concept to assign med students to locate Creative Common pathology images to share meeting specific guidelines, for example. Or images to support health literacy or public health outreach. Best infographic on [X] topics. What do you imagine? Here are some lovely selections from the students in Hawai’i to counterbalance the extreme cold we have here this week.


While the complaints and humor about the idea of peer review remain fairly typical of similar hashtags in other years, I was impressed with how the conversations around #SixWordPeerReview eventually turned to discussions of how to improve the peer review process in general. Here are some of the humorous tweets as well as some of the more thoughtful ones.


Alright, this is an indulgence. I’ve always enjoyed the film Princess Bride, but it never entered my mind to adapt it to a conversation around … science? And science education? And scientific methods? I’m still shaking my head with incredulity and delight at some of the clever puns and offerings from the #PrincessBrideScience stream.

NOTE: The tweet immediately above is in reference to this week’s new scandal:

First posted at THL Blog: http://thlibrary.wordpress.com/2014/01/27/science-games-on-twitter-hashtags-of-the-week-hotw-week-of-january-27-2014/

At the Movies: Games for Healing

I found so many great videos related to gaming, that I am going to have to subdivide them into sections. I’m thinking health, social change, education, just for starters. There several ways to slice each of these, so who knows? I’m starting with of the health-related gaming apps and tools that really caught my interest, and will expand upon some of this in the future.

SickKids Pain Squad iPhone App http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qsl9NjyVpHY
Sick Kids App: http://campaignpage.ca/sickkidsapp/

A really fascinating idea, this app uses simulations of the old “cops & robbers” type of games and action TV shows to engage kids in tracking down the “bad guy” in their cancer treatment.

truth presents: Tommy Castillo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FN8LJbh6v88
The Truth: Flavor Monsters: http://www.thetruth.com/games/play/flavor-monsters/

There are several videos of this game in Youtube and on the website for the game. I chose this one not because it shows gameplay but because it gives some explanation of the ideas behind the game, which focuses on awareness of chemicals and food additives.

FACT: In 2009, flavors were outlawed from cigarettes. But flavors still exist in 45 other tobacco products. Humanity needs you. Stop The Industry’s gunk spread before it’s too late. Download Flavor Monsters today. Free on iOS and Google Play.”

ZOMBIES, RUN! A running game & audio adventure http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyFqZtKvya0
Zombies Run Game: https://www.zombiesrungame.com
iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/app/zombies-run!/id503519713

Speaking of monster invasions, check out Zombies, Run! This is one of the better known of a type of games called “exergames” or “exergaming”. They combine exercise with a game. In this game, zombies chase you, and you run. You get feedback from the game telling you how close the zombies are to catching you.

The “What’s a Zamzee” Song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9ER015VIzU
Zamzee: https://www.zamzee.com/

Zamzee combines exergaming and kids, with an app to make moving fun. Personally, I suspect Dance Dance Revolution already has everyone else beat in this respect, but the idea is sound. Evidently it works pretty well, since this video was designed and made by an actual kid.

Bad Trip: Navigate My Mind from KwanAlan on Vimeo.

Bad Trip: Navigate My Mind http://vimeo.com/47943812

Bad Trip completely blows my mind. It is a combination of gaming and psychology.

“Since November 2011, every moment of my life has been logged by a video camera that mounts on my eyeglasses, producing an expanding database of digitalized visual memories. Using custom virtual reality software, I design a virtual mindscape where people can navigate and experience my memories and dreams. The mindscape grows continually as fresh memories and dreams come in.”

While I am not suggesting that this particular game be used for health, I am thinking that this could be a really exciting approach to work with patients of a variety of sorts. The obvious connection is for patients with some kinds of mental illness, but I could also see this idea being repurposes to help explain the lives of persons with invisible disabilities, or a kind of storytelling approach toward learning about a new diagnosis through the life of someone who already has it and has had it for a while. Very creative!

Twitter Advent Calendar, Day 19: Education Games

I did a series of posts on gaming Advent Calendars, but I haven’t yet included those for teachers and educators and home schooling, which are both useful and entertaining! I didn’t capture screenshots of every tweet that lead me to these, but please believe me, I did not make this up, I found every single one via Twitter! Here is a half-dozen plus a bonus.

Twitter Advent Calendar: Day 19, Education Games
TEXT: Roselink: ESL Advent Calendar 2011 – Christmas Quizzes, Games and Activities

Twitter Advent Calendar: Day 19, Education Games Twitter Advent Calendar: Day 19, Education Games

An advent calendar for English as a Second Language includes tips and tricks and games for engaging learners in the language, often with inexpensive and easy resources. The example shown is on using Youtube music videos for language learning.

Twitter Advent Calendar: Day 19, Education Games Twitter Advent Calendar: Day 19, Education Games
TEXT: Little Wonders’ Days: Reindeer Games, Advent Day 8

Little Wonders’ Days focuse on preschool education with a variety of teaching, learning, engaging activities and games.

Twitter Advent Calendar: Day 19, Education Games
Twitter Advent Calendar: Day 19, Education Games Twitter Advent Calendar: Day 19, Education Games

EducationCity is a UK-based commercial education resource providing learning resources and games that seem to be targeting the grade school age child. They have both UK and US oriented websites, however the Twitter stream appears to be managed by the UK team, as does their main blog. The US team hasn’t posted to their separate blog in months. If you go to the US site you are unable to locate the Advent Calendar, and really need to get to it through the EducationCity Twitter stream. Some of the free activities provided have potential, while others are primarily a sale price on their other services.

“Join us each week day until the 16th December and open a door to reveal a special treat; from festive fun makes, to cultural fact sheets; competitions to offers, we’re bound to delight with our advent countdown.”

Twitter Advent Calendar: Day 19, Education Games

This is kind of a daisy chain of found items which I think spun off from the previous entry as one of the things to which they linked. I’m not sure about that, though. The blogpost here is just the beginning. At English Learning in Our World we see here the beginning of a series of posts on educational activities to use in a classroom. They are all pretty clever, and this first one is a real gem.

She was inspired by the Macmillan Education Advent Calendar shown below.

Twitter Advent Calendar: Day 19, Education Games Twitter Advent Calendar: Day 19, Education Games

The Macmillan calendar has each day giving ideas for educational activities themed around the holidays, such as this one brainstorming how reindeer might fly to foster creativity. Sharon then took the idea and made a Powerpoint template to make her own version of the Advent calendar to use with her students.

Twitter Advent Calendar: Day 19, Education Games

Even better, she provides the Powerpoint template as a free download! Now that is quite generous. Check out some of her other ideas.

Twitter Advent Calendar: Day 19, Education Games
TEXT: StephanyKouJou: @coolcatteacher @edgalaxy @scribbled_au You might like my advent calendar and inform some parents about it. [link] Thanks!

Twitter Advent Calendar: Day 19, Education Games Twitter Advent Calendar: Day 19, Education Games

Stephany is a dyslexia trainer, and her remarkable advent calendar provides activities for working with students in this area, many of them quite creative. The example shown here, “Finish the Christmas tree,” is an exercise to build many needed skills – fine motor control, visual awareness, mirroring, the ability to reverse both simple and complex shapes, working with lines, and so forth. Impressive.

Twitter Advent Calendar: Day 19, Education Games Twitter Advent Calendar: Day 19, Education Games
Twitter Advent Calendar: Day 19, Education Games Twitter Advent Calendar: Day 19, Education Games

I think all of the rest of these came from @CoolCatTeacher, so I am going to combine them in one section. @CoolCatTeacher used Visibli to share the links. The example shown here is from Michelle Green, who used Livebinder to organize her collection cloud-based interactive e-learning tools and resources.

Twitter Advent Calendar: Day 19, Education Games Twitter Advent Calendar: Day 19, Education Games

TES Free Teaching Resources: 12 Games of Christmas. Play the games either on the web of via a free iOS app.