Monday, December 9, 2013

The Lost Lunchbox -- Win the Game and earn a shot at a Kurio 10S Android Tablet ($229 value)

Parents and Teachers,

The Lost Lunchbox is the one of internet’s first educational role-playing games (RPG) designed specifically for children in grades 3 –8. Conceived by Greg Nussbaum, creator of MrNussbaum.com, and designed by the team at igamestudio.com, The Lost Lunchbox is an unforgettable and exciting experience for students that incorporates critical thinking skills in multiple disciplines, problem solving, and a healthy dose of adventure and curiosity. The Lost Lunchbox is an outstanding, educational alternative to traditional video games that glamorize violence and promote mental stagnation.
The object of the game is to find the character’s lost lunchbox in an enchanted school. In order to find the lunchbox, the user has to accumulate a variety of prizes, tools, and clues that will lead to its location.  The accumulation of such objects is achieved through fulfilling the challenges in the school’s many classrooms.  The academic challenges were designed to be, well, challenging! Users will likely not succeed the first time. Some classrooms will require users to conduct minor on-line research or use process of elimination. Others will function as trials, in which users will improve over time before fulfilling that particular challenge. After the completion of each academic challenge, the user will undoubtedly feel a sense of pride and accomplishment. Most users will not be able to “conquer” the game right away. It will take perseverance, persistence, and actual learning to do so. Below is a list of the academic challenges students have to fulfill to obtain the clues and prizes necessary to find the lunchbox.
  1. Conduct an online science experiment in which the user has to make a volcano and then make it erupt.
  2. Make ten math problems and answers from a series of six numbers
  3. Put a variety of “fun” historical events in their correct order (with respect to date).
  4. Pick out a misspelled word among twenty correctly spelled words. The user must spell the misspelled word correctly.
  5. Identify types of prose.
  6. Identify a missing word in a famous quote or passage.
  7. Identify U.S. states on a U.S.A map based on a clue.
  8. Play a memory game
  9. Identify musical instruments
  10. Dress up an athlete according to the clothes and equipment worn in a particular sport.
Fulfilling such academic challenges results in the user earning magic pencils, the game currency, or different tools or prizes.  Users need to fulfill these challenges to obtain secret codes, locker combinations, locations of secret passages, elevator passes and much more. Students can save their games like real video games!

Storyboard

You have left your lunchbox at school! That was the one thing you were told absolutely NOT to do when you were accepted to the Deep Chamber School, a school for mathematical and scientific geniuses ages 6-12. No one has ever left their lunchbox at school as far as you know -- in its entire 785 year history!  You get one lunchbox on your first day. If you leave it at school, you must return to find it.

You will have to go alone --- in the darkness, as non-students are not permitted to enter. As you get close to the Deep Chamber School at night, crickets stop chirping, birds stop singing, and the moon stops shining. Your school is not like most. Things happen when the kids leave. The building changes. The teachers change. You've never seen it, but you've heard stories. Some say the principal turns into a gnome. Others say the teachers use strange mathematical formulas to turn into evil story characters and reverse time. No matter what, you can't come home without that lunchbox.

The quest to find your lunchbox will be anything but easy. They've been waiting for this.

_____________________________________________________

Rest assured, your lunchbox is there - somewhere. You will have to use your impressive academic skills in all subject areas to earn the school currency of magic pencils and gain clues to the location of your dear lunchbox. You will be required to complete various academic challenges that will push you to your scholastic limit and suck away your pivotal pencils if you fail. Be ready to conduct science experiences, complete math equations, identify types of prose, arrange historical events in their correct orders and much, much more. You will have to use the pencils and the clues you earn to find secret passages, secret rooms, locker and elevator codes, maps, and various detectors -- all of which will lead you one step closer to your precious lunch container. Beware of roaming security guards and the dreaded principal who will happily confiscate your hard earned magic pencils.

Finding your lost lunchbox will require time. You can save your game and anytime.

You can learn more by visiting http://mrnussbaum.com/the-lost-lunchbox/
You can watch videos for how to win magic pencils, earn clues, and win academic challenges at http://mrnussbaum.com/the-lost-lunchbox-videos/

Win the game, and send me a screenshot of your victory certificate by the last day of December and earn a spot in a drawing for the Kurio 10S Android Tablet to be given away January 2 (provided there is at least one certificate submitted).

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

MrNussbaum.com/Leapfrog

MrNussbaum.com is proud to announce a partnership with LeapFrog Enterprises, the leaders in educational entertainment, in which some of our content will now be available on the LeapFrog Ultra Tablet, the award-winning kids’ learning tablet. LeapPad Ultra features a kid-safe content experience, LeapSearch, created in partnership with Zui, and is kid-ready out of the box and delivers an experience that parents can trust.  LeapSearch will offer select Mr. Nussbaum games starting November 4th. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Lots of Updates

It has been quite a while since I last published a blog post so I have a lot of updates for MrNussbaum.com users:

1.) COPPA

On July 1st, the FTC enacted its new COPPA legislation, which mandates child-directed sites such as MrNussbaum.com become compliant with its new initiatives. Among the new rules that affect MrNussbaum.com are those that place restrictions on child accounts. While children never need to log-in to use any MrNussbaum.com activities on the site itself, one of my recent additions, Nussbaum's Neurons did require children to create an account with non-personal information and a parent e-mail address so that points could be accumulated and rewards redeemed. I have disabled this program until the system can be amended to require parental permissions for children to create accounts. Previously, the system only required children to enter a username, password and parent-email (first and last name, address, and age were not required). Under the new COPPA rules, however, the legality of children submitting any username and password becomes very murky, especially because children are more likely than adults to recycle usernames and passwords over many sites. Hence, from the FTC perspective, such information may still be classified as "persistent identifiers." MrNussbaum.com has no interest whatsoever in the personal information of any of its users, however, in the spirit of making the internet a safer place for children, the program has been disabled until the appropriate steps can be completed to make it 100% compliant.

In addition, advertisements served on MrNussbaum.com are now ONLY contextual in nature and do not track users for the purpose of serving ads more relevant to them.

2.) SITE CHANGES

You may have noticed that MrNussbaum.com has recently removed the sub-menus that once appeared on the site when a user scrolled over the subject links in the navigation menu. These have been replaced with icons and grade-level navigation. Some users reported that the sub-menus interfered with their students or children using the content of the site as once they activated they could be difficult for young users to deactivate. Furthermore, I found that the user of icons or pictures in the navigation menu make it easier for young users to navigate the site and make it more likely that they will explore the site. The use of text links in a navigation menu requires users to have (in some cases) advanced reading skills and was a poor choice for a site that attracts users as young as 4 or 5 years old.

I have also (and finally) added substantial grade level navigation to the site. In this way, students and teachers can access content pinpointed to their age or grade level. I had resisted this kind of navigation in the past because I wanted users to explore the site without feeling like they were limited to the content recommended for their grade level. That being said, it has become clear that time-strapped teachers appreciate when content is organized in this manner and due to the sheer size of the site, such navigation serves to make the site less overwhelming to younger users as well.

3.) HIRING TEACHERS

At the beginning of the summer, I had hired teachers to create lesson plans and biographies for the site. While this program is discontinued as of today (I received nearly 100 lesson plans), if you are still interested in submitting please contact me directly. Parameters for submissions are available at:

http://mrnussbaumcom.blogspot.com/2013/03/mrnussbaumcom-hiring-teachers.html

4.) CONTENT

During the summer so far I have added several new games including Tae Kwon Donuts and the Greatest American Zero among others. I have also added new html 5 versions of many of my games which enable users to play them directly from iPad browsers without having to download apps. Of course, they are all free.

5.) FINALLY

Some of you may already know that I was hired by Techno Source to create the educational learning system for their best-selling kids tablet, Kurio 7. The improved system consists of 31 learning and game apps for kids ages 3-12.  The newest Kurio, which will feature this educational system, is now available for pre-order on toysrus.com and will be available at most major retailers in September.

Learn more: http://www.toysrus.com/family/index.jsp?categoryId=22733086

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Goodbye Submenus

As part of my initial site re-design, we applied sub menus to the navigation panel. As MrNussbaum.com is an extremely deep site, I wanted to make sure all users were able to view the available subjects and interactive content level-pages. Thus, when users scrolled over the menu, drop-down sub menus appeared with an image and dozens of other links within the site to related pages. While in theory this should have been a good idea, in practice, it turned out unsuccessful according to many who use the site.

On Tuesday, you may have noticed some service interruptions as I disabled the submenus. The submenus were causing various user experience user experience problems:

* For IE 8 and IE 9 users, some flash games would literally disappear if a student scrolled over the menu. Sometimes it would return and sometimes it would not return upon moving the cursor away from the menu.

* The menus and all of its links and scripts caused problems with server load, resulting in a slow experience for many users.

* Younger users had problems avoiding the menus and became frustrated when trying to play a game or complete an activity.

* The turn off menu option worked in some browsers, but not others.

Anyhow, I hope the removal of the menus make the experience of using MrNussbaum.com more enjoyable. I may again try to employ them in the future if I can figure out how to fix all of the bugs.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

MrNussbaum.com - HIRING TEACHERS


I have always created all written content on MrNussbaum.com. From the reading comprehension drills and questions, to paralaughs and biographies, to interactive maps and interactive scavenger hunts, everything you see on MrNussbaum.com has come from my brain and hands.

In an attempt to engage teachers across the nation, I am now hiring teachers to write specific content on MrNussbaum.com.  All pre K through Grade 8 Teachers are eligible. Simply e-mail me at mrnussbaumcom@gmail.com if interested and let me know what you would like to submit. Please don't just create and send as I cannot guarantee payment. Teacher must have paypal account to accept payment. Below is a list of possibilities.


  1. Common Core Standards Lesson Plans centering on games and activities on MrNussbaum.com  (250 avilable) $12.00 per plan. The lesson plan should follow standard format:

    Ststement of Standards
    Materials Needed
    Hook (or Prior Knowledge Activator)
    Introduction to skill (can be video or some other material)
    Introduction and Demonstration of Game
    Game Play
    Assessment, Assessments or Culminating Activity

    Examples at http://mrnussbaum.com/lesson-plans

  2. Biographies written specifically for kids in grades 2 and 3 with 8-10 multiple choice questions. $12.00 per bio/questions (100 available) These must be well-written and easy to read for young kids. Multiple choice questions must hit common core reading comprehension standards for grade level. Biographies must be "younger" versions of those already on MrNussbaum.com at http://mrnussbaum.com/bio2 
  3. Math Worksheets made by YOU for math skills taught in grades 3 - 6.  $8.00/per (100 available) These MUST BE original and must be ATTRACTIVE in format with Common Core Skill labeled. Examples at http://mrnussbaum.com/math-printables
  4. NEW - Teachers and Homeschooling Parents: Refer your Facebook or Twitter Friends to the MrNussbaum.com Facebook Fan Page or MrNussbaum.com Twitter Page and earn $0.25 per your referrals who "like" us on Facebook, or, who become twitter followers (up to a maximum of $20.00). Referrals must remain on our pages for at least two weeks.  
  5. Become an official TESTER on MrNussbaum Premium - We are actively searching for teachers to give us feedback on our premium offering, MrNussbaumPremium.com. We are giving free one-year teacher and parent memberships (for one teacher or parent account and up to 40 students) in exchange for filling out a questionnaire regarding your experiences on the site. We think the site is REVOLUTIONARY, but we need to know what you think. 
Please note I will label all bios, worksheets, and lesson plans with your name and state. This is a GREAT opportunity to earn some additional money. Note that once payment is sent copyright/ownership of given material will be transferred to Nussbaum Education Network, LLC
  



Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Are You Smarter than Mr. Nussbaum?

I recently launched the Nussbaum Neurons Site Currency System in tandem with the Are You Smarter than Mr. Nussbaum? educational program.

Please see the video below to learn about how Nussbaum Neurons constantly engages children, and how they can earn valuable prizes for participating. It is 100% free of charges and requires no personal information other than a parent e-mail address.


Students who are registered in the system also have the opportunity to earn additional Neurons by proving they are smarter than me. This week, students can earn 100 Neurons for defeating me in a game of Word Scramble. For students who can best my score of 20, simply take a screen shot of the results page and send it to mrnussbaumcom@gmail.com. Include the user name you used to register for Nussbaum's Neurons and I will add 100 Neurons to your account.  Every week,  I will post a new video of myself playing one of the 120 unique educational games on MrNussbaum.com for children to view and best my score. 

To Play Word Scramble, please visit http://mrnussbaum.com/scramble
To sign up for a Neurons Account, please visit http://mrnussbaum.com/neurons
To participate in Are You Smarter than Mr. Nussbaum? Please visit http://mrnussbaum.com/are-you-smarter-than-mr-nussbaum

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

OUTAGES

We apologize for the outages many of you may have experience over the past few days. We have been trying to optimize our server to increase page speed and ensure all of our content can be delivered more efficiently through the thousands of schools to use the site. Please bear with us as we continue to work on this problem.