Seven Sims in Seven Days: The Introduction

I’ve long been interested in the idea of using simulations (and games – see Disclaimer below) as teaching tools – there were a couple of online efforts I created many moons ago when the Internet was still young and frames seemed such a good idea:

  • Education and Differential Achievement: The Sociological Detective was an attempt to embed the idea that “studying sociology” at A-level can be a bit like being a detective – you identify “suspects”, develop theories to explain social phenomena and collect / evaluate different types of evidence. I’ve since had to retire the original version, but it’s spirit has since been resurrected here if you’re interested.
  • Crime, Deviance and Methods: The Great Chocolate Bar Theft, also long-since retired, was an online crime and methods sim that I might, at some point in the future, resurrect (but don’t bet on it).
  • One of the problems, aside from having the time and ability to think them up, has always been the difficulty of finding materials that not only delight, surprise and occasionally befuddle students but which also have teaching content that repays all the time and effort required to set-up and use them effectively in the classroom.

    The Internet has, to some extent, made this easier in terms of finding stuff and it has to be noted that just about everything that’s presented here has been invented by someone other than myself. Where I know who created the materials they’re given appropriate credit but in some instances I don’t have the first idea about the identity of their creator, so if you are that person I’d just like to say “Sorry”, “Thank You” and “I’ve hidden all my money in off-shore trusts, so don’t bother suing”.


    While the heading screams “7 Sims in 7 Days” it needs to be noted that this may turn-out to be an over-optimistic pursuit of alliterative perfection. In other words:

    1. When I say “7” I’m pretty confident there will be this number, although there’s a chance there may be fewer. On the other hand, if things go to plan there may be more. In which case look out for a follow-up series.
    2. “Sims” might be a bit of an exaggeration in the sense that while there will definitely be some sims, there probably won’t actually be 7 of them. Some of them will more-properly be called games.
    3. When I say “in 7 days” I’d like to think these will be sequential. However, in the spirit of the “sims and games” all I’m prepared to say at this point is that there will be 7 of them (give or take) and they will appear at a rate of 1-a-day. Just like vitamin supplements but much better for your teaching health. I’ll try to make them sequential but I can’t promise anything.

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