OK, I admit it, it is addictive and time wasting… but like a lot of Web 2 tools, it has it’s good side.
What is it you ask?
Farm Town is an application in Facebook. My daughter insisted I would love it and she was right.
Farm Town is application that allows users to plow, plant, harvest, and sell crops. It is the latest fad among Facebook users, which I am a great fan of. There is some irony in running a farm because it IS just like running a farm… only cleaner. Not only that, but you can go and work for other people and build up your ‘money’ and experience points (sound familiar?). You can be hired in the marketplace or hire people yourself. I think it’s a great tool for building business skills with students, collaboration, strategic planning and the need for persistence. I wish I had some (Business students I mean) to work with. Instead… I will share my idea.
My farm (below) is currently being re-constructed. I am saving for the ultimate farm house so I am living in a hay barn. Just like real life perhaps? You can see my avatar in the photo, standing in the Sunflower patch… which is 83% ready for harvest.
There is plenty of information on the web about HOW to use Farm Town and tricks and tips for success, so I am not going to bother touching on that subject.
Using Farm Town for Learning
Students will need to create a Facebook account, if they haven’t already and then search for Farm Town and bookmark the application on their home page.
They will need to build a farm from scratch, making purchases from their earnings such as… seeds, houses, buildings, rivers, paths, fences and lawn mowers.
Students can ask other students to be their neighbours and/or buddy, and as neighbours are away from their farms, students will have to tend to their farms as tornadoes strike, crops dry out, and weeds grow. The neighbours can also work on each others farms, earning money and experience as they go. What they grow and harvest, how they manage their money and employ people, will determine their success in the given time frame. Students would need to develop strategies for their business and reflect on them afterwards to cap it off.
This tool works as both a collaborative learning tool as well as a self reflective resource for individuals, which I think has great benefit to teaching and learning.
Now that I have justified my addiction… I am off to harvest my latest crop, or sit back and watch someone else do it.
If you think of any other ideas or student groups who this would benefit… feel free to comment below.