Sploder – Game Types

Sploder is a website where you can play and create some different types of games.

www.sploder.com *Note* Use Internet Explorer with this site. I have had the most success while using it. Update your Adobe Flash Player to the latest version as well.


Volcanic Peril: Platformer game where you have some basic controls to move and jump and swing your sword. There is lava that you can fall in. Seems to be scrolling to the right. I made it far enough to get a couple of enemies and then I got hit and dizzily ran into the lava. There are several obstacles in your way and have not gotten very far.

Journey to the Clouds: Similar game to the one above with the same mechanics. This one has text appearing as you walk to have the other characters tell the story.

Puzzle Maker

Algorithm Crew

Classic Shooter


History of Pixel Graphics

I recently watched the video series “Pixel Pioneers”, a short video series on You Tube created by Stuart Brown. Each video goes through a different stage of the evolution of graphics in video games.

This series was a good overview and reminded me about some of the games I enjoyed playing as a child. Some of the earliest video games used very bare bones graphics where a flickering or moving image on the screen was impressive. Today we have games using the latest technology with real life graphics and cinematic experiences.

Here are a few of the games I remember playing that were shown in the series:

Pong and Pac-Man: Atari classics that I played at some point along the way. Simple games with a goal to accomplish. Pac-man has had sequels and revisions and is still played by kids today. Pong reminds me of table hockey, quick movements to keep the object out of your goal and score points against your opponent.

Dig Dug: I don’t think I ever played the original but recall playing Dig Dug 2 on the NES. It was a Blockbuster rental one weekend (remember those?) going around digging and defeating enemies along the way.

Super Mario Bros.: A classic. I got my NES when I was about 8 and I played lots of Super Mario Bros. and Duck Hunt which was the game that came with the system. The graphics are still nostalgic today as the platformer elements are included as bonus areas within newer games like Super Mario Oddysey.

Street Fighter II/Mortal Kombat: These fighting games were a big hit at the arcades and on the 16 bit consoles like Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis. I played my fair share of these as a teenager, and they spawned a great amount of remix fighting games throughout the late 90s.

Super Mario Kart: Another favorite from the Super Nintendo days. The video described this period as the Polygon Realm, and Super Nintendo with their Mode 7 technology allowed game designers to place 3D elements on top of a 2D surface giving the illusion of a 3D world.

There was a gap in my gameplay over the next generation or so, and I reemerged during the late 2000’s with the Wii Sports and Minecraft among other similar games. During this era there was an explosion of first person shooter games, which if you look at a list of Xbox and Xbox 360 games it seems like every other game on this list is this type of game. Not my cup of tea, but alot of people do like them hence their popularity and continued production of these games. As an appreciator of history, it would be interesting to play a game where you are involved in the strategy and story of the Revolutionary War or Civil War for example.

In the 5th video, Stuart tries to answer the question do graphics matter? I think it depends on the game and what you are looking to get out of it. For me, games like Madden and NHL and WWE, having the realistic graphics makes it feel like you are in the game or at the stadium which is fun. Mostly though, if the super graphics is not paired with the enjoyable game and a great story, it can take away from the experience (not to mention the load times).

You can check out this video series here on You Tube.

The Tech Integrator

All Work All Play Review

My thoughts after watching the documentary “All Work All Play” which gives insight into the world of esports gaming.






The Tech Integrator

Embedding flash games on your blog/website

More Youtube Games on Silvergames.com!

You’ve probably seen You Tube videos embedded onto a website or done so yourself. There are some online games that provide you the embed code to be able to embed that game into your site or blog. Here is an example above.

1. Find a game that is embeddable online (I searched for “embed name of game” in Google).
2. Copy the embed code and paste into your site (make sure you are on the “HTML” editing option).
3. Play with the game to ensure that it works.

This might be a good option if you have younger students and have specific games you want them to play without veering off into unknown places on the internet.

The Tech Integrator

Learning from Video Games and How they Engage the Brain

Tom Chatfield presented this TED talk in which he discussed video games and seven ways in which they engage the brain. These ideas are all things that can be applied to education, whether within a video game itself, or by using gamification within other elements of the classroom.

1. Experience bars measuring progress – They start at a point and earn points along the way towards the final goal. They don’t start with a 100 and lose points for not being perfect every assignment.
2. Multiple long and short term aims
3. Reward effort – This is an important one – giving little bits of credit here and there, not punishing (F’s are not motivating!)
4. Rapid, frequent and clear feedback – great games provide players with feedback as they are going along, so do great teachers
5. Element of uncertainty – I liken this to the idea of being uncomfortable and that is when the learning really happens
6. Windows of Enhanced Attention – Opportunities to grow memory and confidence – The concept makes sense, but I am not sure we will be able to pull up the brain scans of our class from the student information system to determine when the best time to drop the new information we want them to remember.
7. Other people – We need to provide our students with opportunities to collaborate and work as a team to accomplish goals. The size of the team is also important to consider to ensure there is varied expertise and enough work to go around to keep everyone engaged.

I found this to be interesting stuff – an the statistics shared emphasize that LOTS of people are playing video games, including our students…we should be paying more attention to this to tap into for learning opportunities in and out of the classroom.

More of Tom’s work can be found by visiting his website: http://tomchatfield.net/

The Tech Integrator

Seesaw 5.0

Seesaw has recently updated to their latest version, 5.0. There are some cool new features and they have updated the look of the site from the teacher perspective.

Some of the new features include:
– An updated Parent app, now called Seesaw Family
– Teachers can customize their class page with a background color and icons to choose from
– New announcements feature – this is cool! Now there is a separate area for teachers to post quick announcements and reminders that is not part of the child’s portfolio.

Looking forward to seeing these updated features in action.

Animoto in the Classroom

Third grade students have been reviewing the importance of internet safety and giving proper credit for utilizing another’s work.  This past week, they combined these tools and created public service announcement videos to educate others about being safe online.  We used Animoto (www.animoto.com), a web based tool that incorporates pictures, text and music to create short videos.  The students did an outstanding job and had a lot of fun with this project.  In addition to sharing links to the produced videos on the teacher web pages for students to view each other’s and share with their parents, we will be sharing them to educate other students in our school via our morning news program over the next several weeks. This was a great experience, and based on conversations with teachers since the project, it was a success I look forward to my teachers coming up with other uses for this tool in the near future.

Here are some samples of the completed videos below.  Enjoy!  Feel free to share comments below and any other ideas for incorporating Animoto into the classroom.

The Tech Integrator




Hour of Code

Last week my school along with many others participated in Computer Science Education Week and the event known as the “Hour of Code.”  Several class activities for students in grades 2-5 were conducted, and the students had a lot of fun and became exposed to the basics of computer programming, as well as challenging their critical thinking skills.

It was a great experience and I hope to be able to integrate additional opportunities for students to participate in coding activities as well as hope they will have a taste for more and pursue playing some of these games outside of the school day.  Next year I will likely not schedule this on the Monday of the week, as there appeared to have peak usage that morning and the site went down.  The rest of the week went very smoothly.

Below are some pictures from our coding activities as well as an introductory video I showed to the students to get them excited about their Hour of Code.


Coding websites utilized during this week: (and I probably just scratched the surface with available resources)

Angry Birds Coding Activity

Frozen Coding Activity

Bits Box



Happy coding!

The Tech Integrator

Ways to Share You Tube Videos Through your School Fusion Site

Once your video is uploaded to your account, it is time to share it with your audience.  There are a couple of options for this.

Share with a Link:

  1.  Once you publish a video and it is “live” You Tube will provide you with a link to your video to share with others.  This can be shared via email or posted on a class web page as a link.



Share via Embedding the Video:

  1. Click on your video link to go to the You Tube page.  Right click on the screen of the video and select “Get Embed Code”.  This will provide you with a code that can be pasted on your web page source code so it will be embedded right into the web page for easier viewing.



Pasting an Embed Code on School Fusion:

  1. Add an announcement to your fusion page.  Click on the “Source” button in the text editor.  Paste the embed code you copied from You Tube into the text box.  Then click publish.  It will display right in the web page so parents/students can click on the video to play it.


How to Upload a video to You Tube

  1.  Go to https://www.youtube.com/education
  2. Click Sign In button in the top right corner.  You can log in using your Google Apps for Education account.
  3. Click Upload.  It will load a new page.



  1.  Select your files that you want to upload.  You have a choice of whether to set your video to Public, Private or Unlisted.  If you want your video to be viewable by others, it cannot be private.  I would recommend using the “Unlisted” option.



  1.  Once your video uploads click “Publish”.  Video will process and notify you when it is finished.