In the mind of a CBE

CBE of the Month Patti Elfers Reflects on Helping Playtest “The Meaning of BEEP”

Posted by Jessica Millstone on

Earlier this month we met Patti Elfers, our New York City-based CBE of the month. Read on to learn more about her work with BrainPOP playtesting our new Meaning of BEEP game with her after school Mouse Squad.   

During last school year (2015-2016) I was approached by Susan Schwartz from the Mouse organization asking if our Mouse-Squad might be interested in playtesting, “The Meaning of BEEP” game from BrainPOP.   Without a second thought, I agreed knowing full well my students would love the opportunity to test new technology. We had been using some of the BrainPOP coding games following the video on “Computer Programming” for practice with learning some block programming. Students love both playing games and creating games, but the opportunity to get a behind the scenes looks at a game in the making was just too “cool” to miss out on.

The students kept asking every week when BrainPOP was coming as they were very anxious to participate with the playtest. The day finally arrived and the students were so excited. They got to meet some of the staff and listened intently to play designer Michael Gi – known as “MKG” – as he discussed what they were about to participate in. MKG explained the game and had the students work on phones, ipads and computers for different device experiences.

Students worked in teams and were impressed with the mechanics of the game. The game promotes collaboration which is an important part of the learning process.I enjoyed watching the students working together, engaged in a learning activity, but at the same time, having fun in the process. By playing in teams, students have to agree on a response before submitting. This is a strong element needed in collaborating and consensus building. Using this type of game for teaching and learning various topics can provide assistance to the classroom teacher in helping students strengthen these skills as well as the content of the lesson. Learning should be fun and the playtesting of the games that our students participated in, proved that game playing in the learning process is just that…fun and motivational!

Watch our short video created in collaboration with Mouse about the making of the Meaning of BEEP game!  Many thanks to Patti Elfers, all her students, and Mouse for participating in both the playtest and the filming of this behind-the-scenes video.

If you want to learn more about how to use The Meaning of BEEP in your classroom, join us for our upcoming webinar with play designer Michael “MKG” Gi on Wednesday October 26th at 4:30PM ET.