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Students playing computer games in class might look as if a teacher is shirking his or her duties, but that’s exactly what happened in Laureen Laumeyer’s class, and she’s being recognized for her efforts.
Laumeyer, a fifth-grade teacher at Meadow View Elementary School, has been named National Mission US Educator of the Year. The award is given to a teacher who has uses the Mission US online game, “For Crown or Colony,” in an effective way in the classroom. Mission US is an interactive history learning game.
The game is set during the Revolutionary War. Sudents make various choices during the game affecting where they will be for the Boston Massacre, all the while learning about the colonial era.
Laumeyer first learned about the game at a social studies conference and she enjoyed playing it herself, she said. She received training on it about a month later, and then incorporated it into her lessons on the American Revolution.
Laumeyer brought the game to her classroom because she was impressed with the historical perspective it provides.
“They’re actually living the life of a colonial person,” she said.
Her students loved the game, so much that many logged in and played during a snow day, surpassing where they were supposed to be when they returned to school, she said.
The game also gives teachers pre- and post-teaching activities to take part in, which Laumeyer adapted to fit her students’ abilities, she said. It was the ability to match the game to her students’ needs that got her noticed for the award.
She was nominated by Kentucky Education Television, which helped train teachers in the game. She was one of the winners in Kentucky and learned in January that she had won the national award. Laumeyer said the news was “surreal.”
“It still hasn’t really sunk in,” she said.
Laumeyer will travel to New York in March to be a part of a panel at the Thirteen/WNET.ORG Celebration of Teaching and Learning. Thirteen/ WNET.ORG is the developer of the game.
“For Crown or Colony” is the first in a series of Mission US games. The next will be set during the Civil War era and partially in Kentucky, according to KET.
Kelly Cantrall can be reached at (270) 505-1747 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.