A teacher who developed a student-engaging game show has actually taken home a grand prize himself.
Brendan Noon '91 and his Web-based classroom quiz show earned Top 10 status in national competition. The National Education Association Foundation Challenge to Innovate Gaming Awards go to educators across the country who creatively use gaming as a teaching tool.
Noon's big idea has actually been in development for more than a decade. He introduced an analog version of "Physics Jeopardy" in his Chicago classroom early in the 2000s.
"It was a way to prep for exams," said Noon, a zoology undergraduate who was inspired to take on teaching while at Oswego.
It proved effective and he added technology to the mix after learning Flash programming in 2004. Today the concept, presented in the vein of shows like "Jeopardy" and "Family Feud," allows students to compete with each other using clickers.
"They actually come up with the material," said Noon, who currently teaches near his hometown of Rochester. "They pick questions [from New York Regents exams] that fit for a round one, round two or round three question.
"The kids really enjoy the fact that they get to create something themselves and compete," he said.
Noon would like to take the competition to the next level and have students participate through a national database similar to the network of contestants who answer pop quiz questions in real time from bars and restaurants across the country.
"These things already exist," Noon said. "Why can't this be something that's instantaneous over the Web and kids could do this in class and compete against other classes across the country?"
The NEA Foundation partners with Microsoft for the Challenge to Innovate Gaming Awards, offering some valuable exposure to Noon's idea, one of 158 entered in the competition.