There is no paucity of “educational” products designed to take your money and take over your classroom. This is not one of them. This game was made by teachers, for students, with the help of independently published game designers who designed the game from the ground up. This game is fun, flexible, accurate, and accountable.
We at i r Games are also committed to supporting the students, teachers, and communities that are our customers. We ask you to contact us with any questions, ideas, or potential collaborations you may have, and we challenge you to find another product that does what Minds Across Time does.
Minds Across Time is fun. Kids need that, and we refuse to apologize for it. We also believe (and a paper by Singh, et al. backs us up) that students learn better when they are engaged and independently motivated. We could tell you how popular Minds Across Time is with students, but we’ll just point you to our website (MindsAcrossTime.com) or suggest using your favorite search engine to see what people are saying about us. We first sold cards on April 22, 2016; that should tell you how quickly Minds Across Time has expanded.
Minds Across Time can truly be used in as many ways as there are teachers. Probably more, to be honest. First of all, students will learn simply by playing the game, whether in their free time or as a reward for completing inclass assignments. But teachers can also teach entire lessons using Minds Across Time cards. A lesson on number lines could involve testing which characters were alive during a significant event by using the birth and death dates printed on each character card. A lesson on the solar system could look at the Summer and Winter cards and examine why they have the effects they have. Teachers can also build lessons around custom cards or have students design their own cards.
In the translation from reality to explanation, things are inevitably simplified. However, at i r Games, we take pride in the effort we have put into ensuring that each card presents information that is not only correct, but also edifying. For example, the resource icons used to represent refined copper and refined silicon could have been anything, but they just happen to be the chemical symbol and atomic number for those elements, which students will memorize through repeated exposure. The effects of products and characters just happen to be related to the things that they actually did. The art for each card just happens to be historically and scientifically accurate as far as possible. Card text and art were even deliberately chosen to avoid introducing common misconceptions.
Any teacher who has played the game can see how it is educational, but your bosses may not necessarily be inclined to sit down and play the game with you. (We hope they are, though; it’s a lot of fun.) That’s why we’ve also striven to make the educational outcomes of the game clear and verifiable. Every card in the game is aligned with an academic standard in at least one state (unfortunately, different states have different standards, so it is impossible in some cases to design cards that meet standards in all states), and wherever possible we have used national standards, such as common core for language and math. We also encourage academic research, case studies, or even blog posted feedback that can not only test the educational quality of Minds Across Time, but also help us to make it better.
References: Singh, Kusum, Monique Granville, and Sandra Dika. "Mathematics and science achievement: Effects of motivation, interest, and academic engagement." The Journal of Educational Research 95.6 (2002): 323332..