The 1st day of this Pandemic Inspired Shool year is rapidly approaching. Now that we have been given some district and administration guidance I have begun to rapidly construct some classroom game mechanics. The trick this year will be the need to seamlessly transition between three potential school models – 100% in person, Hybrid, and 100% virtual. Many of typical tricks involve physical proximity so this will require quite a bit of restructuring and new thinking and, as it turns out, quite a. It of spreadsheet coding!

One of my big ideas this year revolves around a Superhero theme. Due to the timing I m recycling some of the work I’ve done in the past and with a few tweaks this theme can be easily modified. I like the idea of student created back stories which is how I intend to start the semester. I have a Google Form that can be done in person or virtually and students can set up their character fairly independently. One wrinkle I am adding this semester is the idea of the “City’s Protector”. Batman protects Gotham, Superman is based in Meteopolis, and Wonder Women takes care of D.C. – why not let the students have little fun with this?

Each Superhero’s backstory will allow them to select a home city and this choice will give them some small ‘power’ benefits. Some options might include eliminating a couple answer choices or use notebook on a test for a few minutes or the ability to answer first in a seminar discussion. The home city could also be used to start the guild process because there will obviously be some overlap.

My first instinct has been a physical display. I created physical city skylines on the poster printer and the laminated them. Students’ avatars will be placed around the city.

This would work great if we were to be physically present all year but this is unlikely. Since that is the case I am also working on developing customizable student headquarters modeled on the Bitmoji classroom idea. I wrote a but about that HERE. Using Google Slides students will be able to earn different background images to create their own “Fortress of Solitude” or “Batcave”. They will have a superhero “skin” to represent themselves in the headquarters and then be able to outfit the HQ with various items and paraphernalia.

Protector status will be based on a skills mastery demonstration. I was inspired by my son’s karate belt test system and am adjusting my old Belt Test System.

I’m still working on the tech components and will write more when I get that finished up.

To all of you in school or about to start stay safe and good luck.