Susan Brock is a high school chemistry teacher from Bentonville, Arkansas. She’s been a classroom teacher for 12 years, and a member of EMC² Learning for a little over a full year at the time when we had the incredible good fortune of meeting her in person in the Fall of 2022 during a full day training event at her school. Here’s what she had to say about how EMC² Learning has helped her change the game in her classroom.
No More Guessing Games
Before I discovered the resources available from the EMC² Learning, I was experiencing a frustratingly high degree of student apathy and a fair amount of teacher boredom. Today’s students are constantly on the go! And it can be so hard finding new ways to keep them interested in my course content. I felt as if nothing I did worked. And try as I might, it seemed like huge quantities of time on my part ultimately made very little difference on students.
One of the things that I loved most about EMC² Learning was that the resources are completely brand new to my students. Unlike the passing fads and shallow gimmicks of so many of the other “buzzer-style” trivia edtech solutions, I was blown away by both the breadth of resources available on this platform and the genuine depth to which each activity demanded thoughtful, creative responses from my learners.
This makes such a huge difference in our classes, as students haven’t already seen umpteenth versions of the same game in 50 other classes. I was really impressed by how the EMC² Learning platform provided me with all sorts of easy to master gamified strategies resources that I could mix and match quickly into my existing lesson plans. The items that students got to play on other teams helped to make a simple review game into a real battle! And I love it that any team can win, not just the team with the kids who traditionally might be the ones with highest GPA.
Rumbling With Excitement
I think the moment everything really clicked for me would have to be the day when my classes played their second Resource Rumble. The energy was through the roof! And my kids were truly excited and genuinely engrossed in the game. Students were literally rushing back to the dig site to get the next question. If their table was not the next in the queue for checking their answers, you could hear an audible uproar throughout the classroom as the precious seconds ticked away on the overhead timer. I was even accused of playing favorites!
Perhaps the best thing I saw, though, was the clear sense of ownership and pride that my kids were taking as they competed against rival teams. Even though the “game” was all in good fun, it was clear that they were taking the stakes seriously! We all found ourselves holding back laughter as students would play different cards against their opponents — not just placing individual items cards on another team’s table, mind you, but emphatically throwing it down like it was a mic drop. Actions speak louder than words and their actions told me they were invested in the game and having fun with it.
Some students who had previously been disenfranchised have really starting engaging in our lesson plans. And it’s an added bonus to bring even more players into the fun while students with ADHD suddenly get to channel all of their energies into relevant work for the classroom as they help their teammates and even have the chance to bring about some good-natured mayhem against other teams.
Ultimately, I love that the EMC² Learning resources are pre-made and easily adaptable, which gives them a high replay value for just about any unit I can think of. And I am especially thankful for the videos that explain how a game is supposed to be played! Once I’ve gotten the hang of a particular activity, I absolutely love it that all I need to do is add my questions and go.
I believe that the resources are at such a high standard — a gold standard — because they have been used in a real classroom with real students.
EMC² Learning is home to more than 600 fully editable resources for any course or content area. Engagement Engineers and members of the Creative Corps enjoy a full year of access to each of these resources on demand. We hope you’ll consider joining us to unlock a full year of site access. For complete details including our exclusive limited time offer for annual site membership, click here.