Wednesday, August 6, 2014


In case I haven’t made it clear yet, I just love it when nerd-ism and good pedagogy come together. Today, they have come together in the form of Big Huge Lab’s Trading Card generator.  I found this as part of my T3 Making Technology School Readiness training (more about that eventually, if I can take the time from training to reflect on it).  The trading card generator lets you upload a picture, include some text, and select some presets (including some logo stuff), and it will generate a Magic: the Gathering-style playing card.  I’m having really nerdy ideas about how to use this faster than I can type them out.

Image: Don Quijote y Sancho Panza by Pablo Picasso, I don't remember where I got it.  Bad citation. Text from "El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha," by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. 

For content: Create a deck of cards for:
Characters in a story
Important people (Artist series, Author series, Musician series, Scientist series, Politician series).  Especially entertaining to pass one of these out per student per day during Hispanic Heritage Month, or on other special occasions.
Countries--pick the qualities in the description with some care

Student-created cards:
Have artsy students draw pictures of characters or other important elements.  Have write-ey students write out descriptions of characters.  Upload all of this to a common source.  Have students create custom decks for reference during stories.

In-class activities:
Have a blind draw or a trading session.  Give some kind of reward for completing sets.

Classroom management:
Use in parallel with, supplementing, or instead of a badge system.
Have students pose for pictures for common school or class tasks.  Issue cards when other students are doing the same thing.  (This is problematic for a bunch of reasons.)
Use the school or class currency to buy “booster packs.”
Student-created decks describing actions or characters or events, a la MtG.
Can I actually create a whole game mechanic, or steal a deck-building game mechanic, to staple on to this?

Really, this is going to be a thing quickly. I’m going to have to look into printing costs, or possibly into writing an app that lets students collect virtual cards.  Or possibly it’s one of the gamification things I get really excited about and then totally fizzles, as it takes too much time and nobody’s as excited about it as I am. 

On a tangentially related note, also as part of this training, I found out that Moodle has badges enabled, so now I have to get into that.  Our teacher websites are on a SchoolWires platform called Centricity 2; I wonder if they can do badges?

PD Big Huge Labs has a Badge generator!  Ooh!  Ooh!  That’s it; I’m taking the next week off.

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