A colleague alerted me to an article describing Mary Flanagan’s efforts to crowd-source metadata tagging of archival materials using games. After trying them, you might think, “Okay. Sorta fun, but meh, I probably won’t be back.”
I could see these kind of metadata games being used in K-12 classrooms. Imagine English Language Learners playing stupid robots. They could compete amongst themselves to see who can come up with the most points by describing a picture with one word. Even beginners with limited vocabulary could latch on. No, I can’t see them coming back spontaneously in their free time, but I bet they wouldn’t grumble if it were offered as an activity once in a while. Some of the more descriptive tagging games could work nicely for encouraging descriptive language in a language arts or even science setting (scientists make observations, after all)–“Zen Tag” or “Guess What”. Add the competitive aspect and the kids are engaged, at least for that lesson.
For the last few weeks, I’ve been watching the kids at the high school I work in play this app called Trivia Crack. It’s not exactly tagging, but it’s competitive and makes it cool to be smart. A few years ago it was Words With Friends. (I never thought I’d see high schoolers scrambling to play mobile Scrabble. Shouldn’t they be engrossed in their SnapChat or something?)
I might pass this idea along…