Imagine if you could bring George Washington to life and help him cross the Delaware. Or maybe you want to see the characters in Charlotte’s Web actually moving and spinning. Episcopal students have the technology to do this and more.
Lower School students recently learned how Bloxels Gameboard and app helps users create their own video games. Josh Stevens, Co-Founder of Pixel Press which created Bloxels, and Richard Nava with Pixel Press’ Community Development Department visited the school to show the students firsthand how to quickly take their ideas from drawings to color-coded blocks to live action games. In no time students were playing games featuring unicorns, alien men or super heroes of their own design.
Stevens says the idea behind Bloxels is to allow students to tell a story through a video game. This happens as students create a hero, villain and background scenery. Once the blocks are in place on the 13 X 13 grid the students snap a photo with the iPad app and the image comes to life. Nava, who is a video game creator, says you used to have to know five coding languages and have a $1,000 computer to do the type of creations that can now be done simply with an app and an iPad.
Episcopal students are accustomed to technology. In Lower School they use Osmo for interactive learning on everything from spelling and counting to coding and animation. Middle School students recently used virtual reality headsets to explore distant volcanoes. There are Bee Bots, 2-D printers, 3-D printers, touch screen computers, iPads, circuit boards, and so much more.
Lower School Head Bridget Henderson says the key is to be purposeful when incorporating this technology.
Students today have so much more available to them than floppy discs and graphing calculators. Imagine what will be available twenty years from now. Remember, it wasn’t that long ago that students were playing the original Oregon Trail on green screens in the computer lab!