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Education and Doodlematic

Updated: Mar 9, 2020

DoodleMatic in the home is an amazing activity to inspire creativity and play, curiosity, and self motivation, but wait till you see the amazing things Doodlematic can do to help inspire children in a classroom setting.

Here are our top reasons for using DoodleMatic in the classroom:

*STEM Authenticated *Promotes creative thinking

*Builds problem solving skills *Keeps kids engaged

*Versatile with age & grade *Adds fun to classroom lessons

*Motivate learning *Facilitates student to student interaction

What do these key phrases mean? STEM stands for the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The STEM education approach integrates these 4 key subjects through a hands on approach which engages students in their own learning. DoodleMatic is Authenticated, meaning that it has been reviewed through a rigorous evaluation process to determine its effectiveness within the STEM ideals.The best part is that it allows the hands on approach and others to have fun and integrate it into education.

Problem solving and Creative Thinking can be challenging skills to master as children. DoodleMatic allows kids/teens to problem solve using a fun and exciting method while wanting to learn. How can the students use these problem solving skills to motivate learning, add fun to the curriculum, use student to student interaction and more? Here are some methods teachers are using in their classrooms. Try replacing worksheets with student made games.  If you have 20 kids in class, have each create a game that covers one concept in the lesson. Now you have 20 games that students are using higher order thinking skills to create- they play each others games for practice- can ask each other for help in understanding- creating a community of learning that is powered by the students. Now this is keeping the kids engaged, and using all the other key points we mentioned above.

DoodleMatic in the classroom is an engagement, content, and confidence booster.  It is not designed to replace any traditional teaching or learning methods but to be used in conjunction with them. I use the analogy that DoodleMatic is like a Vitamin, it is not meant to replace your daily meals but to help boost your body’s ability to understand, process and utilize the information.  For example, it is crucial that students practice the mechanics of writing, through crafting essays. However, having students create games on key chapters throughout difficult texts, like McBeth, will boost student comprehension and help engage them in the story. The process of translating text to a game engages students’ higher order thinking skills as they plan out the actions of their avatars, environment and how they interact with the story’s plot. In using DoodleMatic to understand content it will be far easier for a child to focus their energy on the mechanics or writing instead of struggling to remember details of the books/content they have to write about.

Over the past 12 years as a teacher myself, I’ve noticed that it is becoming increasingly difficult to engage kids in creative thinking. Students want to find the ‘one’ right answer, and they want to get that answer the quickest way possible. If we compare it to the instant gratification and easy knowledge we all have at our fingertips, it’s not hard to understand why using Doodlematic makes this problem a little easier as the students want to create and learn. We consistently see student engagement, and retention increase when students have been given DoodleMatic as a creative option to process lessons and learning. Doodlematic can really make a difference in your classroom! DoodleMatic lessons are applicable for EVERY grade and skill level, K-college.

AGE LEVEL: Doodlematic can be used at any age. From connecting Capital to lower case letters in Kindergarten, to the periodic table in grade school, complicated algorithms in high school, and even into college. Doodlematic can be used for beginner to higher level thinking students and everyone in between.

DIFFERING ABILITIES: DoodleMatic is gender neutral, accessible and rewarding for students across the spectrum and with differing learning styles. It can also facilitate social emotional learning and thinking for all students. A great example: Just a year ago I had a wonderful student that I’ll call Joe. Joe is autistic and was frequently frustrated in my class because the incredible ideas he had in his head did not translate onto paper the way he imagined them. Students treated him with respect but as a person with a disability. But Joe and others like him are SO MUCH more than what others can see on the surface. So we tried something- I gave him foam stickers and a black marker, and he started creating games. He was so proud to share these with his classmates and his classmates were genuinely impressed with what he’d made. For many students it was the first time they could see Joe’s depth of thought, and creativity. It built a bridge for him. He had a way to express himself in which others were sincerely curious, and could see and genuinely appreciate his brilliant thoughts which fell under the radar before."

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL BENEFITS: DoodleMatic also provides kids with a safe and non threatening way to communicate with adults about concerns, anxieties or issues they are facing. School social workers and therapists can use DoodleMatic to visually detect social concerns, mental health issues or problems at home through the games students make. It may help students that are uncomfortable speaking about issues to express their need for help and facilitate difficult conversations.

STUDENT INTERACTION: Sometimes in class students have clicks, a hard time making friends, they may be shy, however getting the students to make fun and educational games together and explain their thought processes with one another helps with the fear of interaction and the fear of the unknown. With this aspect of teaching the student is creating something they enjoy and want to talk about. This is a great conversation maker and way of working together to make a game that coincides with the topic they are currently learning.

AS A TEACHER: Today I am writing to you not only as a woman entrepreneur, but also as a teacher, mother and artist. DoodleMatic is the brainchild of myself and my husband and was created based on needs that I saw in my own classroom. Despite my passion for art and learning, getting my students to adopt my enthusiasm wasn’t always easy. Keeping student engagement and managing the use of digital devices, in particular gaming, in my classroom interfered with student creativity and productivity. My students seemed to live their lives through a digital lens, texting each other across the room and looking for the immediate gratification of 'likes' on their posts instead of talking to each other. Overall, I've seen a decrease in students' self esteem, and a constant questioning of "am I, or my ideas, good enough?" They are afraid to put themselves out there in the physical world and hide behind their devices. Art making and creativity are on the surface level and I hear daily "I'm a terrible artist," or "I'm just not creative". As an artist, a teacher, and a mom this is not just disheartening but a REAL problem. These same students will be our future leaders, innovators and problem solvers. As a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, I am a true believer in the words of former RISD president John Meada. When speaking about his movement to change STEM to STEAM to include Art, John stated, “Whether today's students go on to be artists, doctors or politicians, we know that the challenges their generation faces will demand creative solutions. We should fully expect that, in the coming decades, many of our best leaders will come from art and design backgrounds...Design creates the innovative products and solutions that will propel our economy forward, and artists ask the deep questions about humanity that reveal which way forward actually is.” So my quest began, driven by the question, How do I flip this dialogue in their heads? I started really taking note of the side conversations, especially of the kids that seemed most disengaged. What were they discussing? What were they interested in? And how could I use this to my advantage. The answer was in the very thing I'd been trying to keep out, or minimize in my classroom- GAMING on their mobile devices.

THE BEST PART: If I ask my students to tell me an idea they freeze. If I ask them to tell me a story they respond that they "can't think of any". If I ask them to describe what the ultimate game would look like they will talk for HOURS! So, now with DoodleMatic, just by creating art on a white surface, people can create a playable game in 15 seconds! Draw on paper, cookies, put objects in the snow, add candy to a maze, or even draw on a body part to design a great digital game.

WHY DOES DOODLEMATIC WORK: Doodlematic works because it connects kids love of games, their need for instant gratification and the social connectivity they desire. The two interactive books that come with the kit teach 39 points of game design.

The immediate nature of the process helps motivate kids to not only create one game, but go back and make adjustments and improve upon their previous creations- teaching persistence and dedication. Their motivation becomes real and internal, and the structure of creating in the physical world helps to build a healthier relationship with technology as an incredible tool.

DoodleMatic is not just for kids, but for anyone who loves to create. Game theory and design is now taught at the university level. Young adults can use it for their classes and it works with Photoshop. Adults can use it during parties to develop games that can be shared with their friends. There are a plethora of applications of DoodleMatic!

Never stop learning and figuring out ways to help your students succeed .

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