Pixel Press released a new version of Bloxels which is focused on bringing game development into the classroom.
This new version of the popular game will add another 21st century skill building tool to any classroom.
What is Bloxels?
When Bloxels was introduced back in 2013 it completely changed the way video games were created. Before Bloxels, specific knowledge of coding languages, level design, 3D animation, and many more skills were needed to create a simple video game.
However, Bloxels changed all that with a simple character and level design tool that took advantage of a new up and coming technology, Augmented Reality.
What made Bloxels even more unique was its cutting edge AR tool. With their iPad camera, some colored blocks and a special board, Bloxels added a hands on component never seen before in game design.
Bloxels in the Classroom
From the very beginning, Pixel Press knew its exciting new tool was a great fit for the classroom.
They started working with teachers by creating the Bloxels Ambassador program.
As an ambassador teachers would work with Pixel Press to design lessons and activities to help teachers and parents around the world bring Bloxels into the classroom.
After listening to all of the feedback from teachers and parents, Pixel Press created a feature rich version of Bloxels specifically design for the classroom.
Some of the new features include:
Dedicated classrooms and student accounts
Track student progress in real time
Reward students for their hard work
Print out story blocks in PDF format
Asset packs created by the Pixel Press team
The Arcade: A place for students to safely share their work with children around the world
One of our favorite features was the classrooms. In a classroom students can easily share their games, art, and animations with classmates. This leads to a lot of collaboration!
Storytelling is an important part of my English curriculum. For years I have used numerous tools and activities to help students express themselves through stories.
Digital storytelling has lead to students being more excited an engaged in the process of storytelling.
Bloxels Edu introduces students to the exciting world of game development, which in my opinion is the greatest form of storytelling.
Planning a Story
Like any other storytelling lesson we always begin with someone kind of planning phase. Here encourage my students to plan a story in their own unique way.
Some students will jump right in with a storyboard, while others will begin writing.
Once students have finished planning their stories, it’s time to begin building their games.
Like I mentioned before, Bloxels offers a unique game building experience. It’s a mix of hands-on and digital creation.
The boards allow students to use their hands to design characters, settings, and even entire worlds with small colorful blocks.
Collaboration is another advantage of using the blocks. My students often save time by sharing and combing creations. With a simple click of the camera, all their work is transferred into their games.
From there, students can continue to build, begin to animate or even test their designs.
From my experience, when students share their work, it brings a whole new level of engagement. Students will work hard to create something they are proud of.
Bloxels Edu, makes this part easy and fun. Once a student has finished a game, they can simply upload their games to the Arcade. I really love the retro gaming theme of the splash screens!
Who should use Bloxels Edu into their classroom?
As an English and technology teacher, Bloxels is an easy fit into all of my classes. From storytelling to explanation projects, Bloxels is a very versatile tool that would complement any classroom.
There are Bloxels Ambassadors from almost every country in the world, that are eager to help any teacher or parent learn more about how to use Bloxels in the classroom or at home.
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