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The Radix Endeavor

By Charles G. Doe - Posted May 1, 2014
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Company: MIT Education Arcade, Cambridge, Mass.; website: education.mit.edu (game website: radixendeavor.org); an online contact email form is available.

Price: The Radix Endeavor is free.

Audience: The Radix Endeavor was developed for middle and high school students.

Format: Radix is a cross-platform MMOG (massively multiplayer online game) played entirely online. It is intended to be a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) supplemental curriculum especially in math and science classrooms.

System Requirements: Minimum requirements are a Windows or Macintosh computer with Microsoft Windows XP or Mac OS 10.6, at least a modern Intel Core series or AMD Athlon Processor at 2GHz or faster, 1GB of RAM, and 1024x768 display (1280x800 recommended) with a 16-bit video card. The Browser should be Internet Explorer 8, Firefox 22, or Chrome 27 with Adobe Flash Player 11.2 and a fast internet connection for online access. The recommended system requirements include faster, newer computers with more memory and RAM.

 

REPORT CARD
Overall Rating:4 Stars
Installation:A
Content/Features:A
Ease of Use:A
Product Support:A

 

Description: The Radix Endeavor is an educational MMO game in development funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. A MMO game is a massively multiplayer online game that must be played online and can be played by thousands of students at the same time.

Reviewer Comments:

Installation: Installation involves being sure computers meet minimum requirements. Then begin by creating a user account. Teachers complete a form to register for an account. Installation/ Rating: A

Content/Features: MIT’s Education Arcade and Scheller Teacher Education Program received a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop an immersive virtual learning experience that is being released this year. Working collaboratively with teachers, the companies have created The Radix Endeavor set on the Island of Ysola.

Players take on a digital character, or avatar, to represent themselves in this virtual space. They can interact with the designed environment in which activities take place, as well as with other individuals’ avatars or nonplayer avatars that are part of the narrative.

Ysola is an Earth-like world, the Island of Ysola is populated with humanlike people, and players of the Radix Endeavor explore Ysola, encountering its many inhabitants. Players learn of struggles, gather materials to help, and learn about the creatures and plants. A tutorial helps users get oriented, and then students receive curriculum topic “questlines.” Game progress is saved.

Teachers plan lessons using the curriculum provided by The Radix Endeavor. Designed to align with the Common Core standards and Next Generation Science Standards, emphasis is placed on including opportunities for students to develop key math practices and 21st-century skills.

Current topics include the biology topics of genetics, ecosystems, evolution, and human body systems. Mathematics topics include algebra, geometry, and statistics.

Teachers can use the quests as formative assessments of students’ content knowledge. Teachers have access to a Teacher Dashboard that allows them to assign game content, track participation and performance at both the students’ individual and class level to monitor progress, and tailor lessons to specific needs. Content/Features Rating: A

Ease of Use: Documentation is available, and game play is generally intuitive but is definitely intended to present challenges. Ease of Use Rating: A

Product Support: Support is sufficient, with limited online help, including support FAQs, user forums, and an email contact form. Support is also provided via a blog with design ideas and curriculum coverage. Product Support Rating: A

Recommendation: The Radix Endeavor is not as polished as commercial products but is well-designed and an outstanding idea. Many students will be highly motivated to play the game, supporting core curriculum. I recommend this for all high school and some middle school settings. Recommended

Reviewer: Charles Doe (charliegd@sbcglobal.net) is a 39-year teacher, including 10 years as an elementary media specialist in Hastings Area Schools in Hastings, Mich. For the past 15 years, he has written articles and reviews for Internet@Schools.


 
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