|By User Apple2gs, via Wikimedia Commons|
If you were a child of the 80's (and maybe even the 90's), did you have an Apple II (or Apple IIe, or Apple IIgs) in your classroom? If so, here's a bit of nostalgia too good to pass up...
Block off an hour or so and go check out http://www.virtualapple.org/. You won't be sorry.
The site is an emulator for all those classic games you used to play: Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?, Lemonade Stand, and...the grand-daddy of them all...Oregon Trail!
The games load up right in your browser, but you'll have to install a plug-in for them to load. (This is easy, and free--when you try to play a game for the first time, follow the on-screen instructions and you'll be in game-mode in a matter of minutes.)
Yes, the graphics are just as awful as you remember them. Yes, the sounds are midi-generated silliness. Yes, the games are just as awesome today as they were all those years ago.
And even though the graphics are bad and the sound is worse, I think your students could still learn from these games. Okay, sure: some of them are just ridiculous...but you could say the same for some of the schlocky apps you probably have on your classroom set of iPads today!
It might also be worth sharing this site with your students' parents...just the sort of old-school fun for parents and kids alike for the summer doldrums of "Mom...I'm bored!"
(Thanks to my Twitterfriend @sjunkins for sharing this great site!)