Medmyst

A review of MedMyst

I have used this a lot...

March 12, 2013

LynnLauterbach
Teacher

MedMyst-- http://medmyst.rice.edu (Original and Reloaded) I have used this every year in my teaching career. It is very popular and in fact, has just been expanded to a second group of web adventures. At this site, you will see "for educators" and "for students" on either side. Choose "for educators". Then you will see two parts: Original and Reloaded. The seven missions found in there can be used together or independently. The teacher page tells you length of missions and more details, accountability options, classroom activities, assessment stuff, etc. The Cool Links at the end provide a built in learning option for students who finish at various times---or they can go on to the next mission.

MedMyst Reloaded: (link above) Under the Reloaded side, you will find the newest program called Disease Defenders. I think this one is very good because students learn science career paths as they interact with three different scientists who use the Sci. Method to complete parts of a disease investigation so controls, hypothesis, independent/dependent variables, etc. are all taught. The career people are an epidemiologist, microbiologist, and veterinarian. In addition to the game, there are support materials that go with this under Teacher Materials, Classroom Activities, and are called "And the Data Says" which uses CDC rabies data to have the student interpret and write inquiry questions as they reflect on the authentic graphical data. Another activity I use and find really helpful is called “Design It.” It is a helpful graphic organizer that guides students in the process of learning experimental design. I learned it several years back and have found it makes it possible to get a large number of multi-ability-level students (like we work with in middle school classrooms) all on the same page with terminology and the processes. There is also a video explaining it. “Design It” is posted under the MedMyst Reloaded, Animal Alert program also. The second game under the Animal Alert web adventure has students solving an outbreak case....they choose to be either the vet, epidemiologist, or microbiologist and approach the case In the unique way that each of those people would do it. Students see how the collaboration and contributions of each scientist contribute to solving the outbreak. Make sure and check out the Mission Debriefs under the Teacher Activities on the left to help guide the culminating classroom discussion.

MedMyst Original: (link above) This program has five different mission options. It is generally geared for teaching about infectious disease, pathogens, and the immune response. Mission 1 is an orientation or general introduction that sets the stage for the rest. Then, Mission 2 is based on a bacterial disease, cholera. Mission 3 is a viral disease in the pox family, Mission 4 is a protozoan disease dealing with malaria, and Mission 5 is a combination of things built around zoonotic (animal borne) illnesses. Its style is a little different than the others; its game play style is more challenging and less guided so gamers like it while others feel challenged, not from the content but from the navigation and gaming type comfort level required. (I always do mission 1, I do as many of 2-4 as I can and let them choose which ones, and then make 5 optional.)

Fun rating: 4 out of 5

Learning rating: 5 out of 5

Science rating: 5 out of 5

Total:

14 / 15

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