"It is against the grain of modern education to teach children to program.
What fun is there in making plans, acquiring discipline in organizing thoughts,
devoting attention to detail, and learning to be self-critical?"
- Alan Perlis
How Can Interactive Fiction Help Me in the Classroom?
involves both language skills and logical thinking, so although it has long been eclipsed in popular culture by graphics-based games, I believe it still has value as an educational tool.
Special note for classroom use:
Many schools' networks are configured to
deny access to websites that are deemed inconsistent with the school's
and jiffeegames.com sometimes
get blocked because the name looks like a game site.
If this happens to you, try using any of these instead:
(These all lead to exactly the same web pages, so it doesn't matter which
one you use.)
Has This Been Tried Before?
To put my ideas to a practical test,
I've been using JIFFEE as part of
apprenticeship for Middle School students offered through
since the spring of 2008.
You are welcome to look over the course material I've used there:
You can also try out the games that my apprentices at
Institute of Technology have written in their apprenticeships.
Bear in mind that these were written by
middle school students who had never seen
Interactive Fiction before, and we only had about 7 hours to actually
write code, so these games don't have all the polish
of something you'd buy in a store.
They do, however, show the creativity of the kids
when allowed to express it freely.
JIFFEE has also been shown at a couple of conferences:
- October 20, 2009. Computer Science Education Leadership Summit,
Mountain View, CA. Co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation and Google.
Two of the apprentices from past semesters demonstrated their games
to the attendees in a science-fair style presentation.
- December 3, 2009. Re-Imagining STEM Learning,
Mountain View, CA.
Co-sponsored by Citizen Schools and the
Silicon Valley Educational Foundation.
Four apprentices from the current semester demonstrated their games
in another science-fair presentation.
Where Can I Talk About Using JIFFEE in Education?
jiffeegames-teachers - A Yahoo! Group for teachers
who are using JIFFEE games in the classroom, especially those who
use it as part of second-language instruction.
JIFFEE and JIFFEEgames.com copyright © 2007-2010 by Michael S. Kenniston. All rights reserved. This page was last updated on 2010-07-25.