After reviewing each software package, we asked the evaluators to design a learning
activity that uses Myst.
I found navigating around the island to be fairly easy and visually exciting. I also discovered a variety of geometric shapes and solids that would be recognizable to a student studying geometry. Using the island as a platform, one could provide a worksheet with questions that the students must answer as they wander around.
For example, the floor of the library is built in the shape of a regular octagon (maybe it was a decagon?) and by providing the students with some basic measurements, they could be asked to compute the area of the floor. Another example would concern scaling. The map of the island located on the wall of the library could be a scale (we could use the metric system for this!). If the students were told that it was 15 cm from the library to the spaceship on the map, then they could be asked to determine the actual distance in meters. A similar question for computing the weight of the clock tower using a proportion with other objects (a tree) could easily be developed.
The activities described above do not use Myst in a way that takes advantage of the nature of the game. My concerns would be that:
Who knows, if all went well they might learn a little on their own just by trying to move around the island.
This would require that I have an extensive knowledge of the game, which I am told would require approximately 100 hours of playing time. As they say - it would be a tough job, but somebody would have to do it.
Since vocabulary acquisition is just beginning and grammatical structure is also limited, I would begin by using Myst as a way to introduce new vocabulary words and simple instructions. First, I would give the students the necessary vocabulary to learn the buildings that are encountered on the Island of Myst. I would then hand out to the class simple instructions in Spanish and ask them to follow those instructions. For instance: Walk down the wharf to the end and climb the stairs. Turn left and walk down the walkway to another set of stairs.
Initially, I would make out about eight to ten different sets of instructions so that all students are not handed the same instructions. I would have each set end up in a different place ( the library, the shed, the spaceship, the fountain, the clock tower, the elevator in the tower, the observatory) and the student would tell me where they ended. That would be my way of checking if they were able to follow instructions correctly.
I would increase vocabulary words and make more sets of instructions, each one more complex, as the semester progressed. The students would tell me where their destination was and I would ask them to also explore. Particularly with 102 I would ask them to describe their surroundings and, thus, build up their vocabulary.
SPANISH 201, 202
I would be more descriptive and also ask them to describe in a more detailed fashion their surroundings. I would probably ask them to explore more and go to one destination and be very detailed as to what they saw and what they could do there. I feel the this level could also travel to another age ( if I can figure out how) and ask them to narrate in Spanish what they had read about the age from the books in the library.
I think that this is a good way for a left brain activity (language) to team up with a right brain activity (spatial / visual) thus providing a more whole brain process to language acquisition.
It took me four hours and I never got past the dock and its nearby buildings and chambers. Possibly a student could do so (progress to worlds) in much less time. However, if it would take a student more than an hour to do so, I'm not sure I could justify a homework assignment related to it. That would require time beyond the game time.