Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Fortnite Creative in Class Update: Parent Permission Slip

It all started with the question I was anticipating, "Can we use Fortnite Creative for our final game?" I saw this as an opportunity to empower my students. My concern was with the fact that as a first person shooter, the stigma of Fortnite would come with some administrative resistance. I thought it best to have the students craft their argument in favor of using it and receive approval from our admin. They wrote a great persuasive letter and upon follow up discussions with our tech department and curriculum supervisor, students were granted approval pending parent permission. 

Their next step was to write the permission slip and have it signed so they could proceed.  Amazing how quickly students work when they are intrinsically motivated :) Below is the permission slip for anyone who would like to use it with their students. 


Dear Parents/Guardians,

We are students in Mr. Isaacs period 4 game design class and we have received the task of creating our very own game for our final project. Mr. Isaacs said we could choose the tool of our choice like minecraft, unity, twine, super mario maker and almost anything we can think of.  A couple of students asked if we could used Fortnite Creative, a section of Fortnite that is dedicated to building your own world. Mr Isaacs sees the value of using Fortnite Creative as a tool to create our game but wanted us to get approval from the school first. We did and all that is needed now  is parent/guardian approval for students to be allowed to use Fortnite Creative in class.

There are many benefits of using Fortnite creative compared to other software like Minecraft. Fortnite creative saves your work to the cloud so you could access your work on any computer, video game console, or your even your phone, where on Minecraft your limited to only the computer your working on. In class students will only be working on a computer, but Fortnite allows students to work on their game at home, which will allow students final game to reach its full potential. Another advantage about Fortnite creative is that new things are added everyday and updates are released every week. This will allow Students to constantly update their game and improve it. Since Fortnite creative is apart of Fortnite, students friends would have easy access to test and play their game anywhere they want. Mr. Isaacs has been researching this and found a number of educators using Fortnite creative in their classrooms. They have had good experiences with it and the students haven't needed to use any of the guns or questionable aspects that would be considered inappropriate for school, but mainly focused on all the creative possibilities like obstacle courses and other challenges like races. Students can even create their own music note by note, which is a vital aspect for game design, One teacher named Mrs. Wright “used it as a student choice for the design and construction of a medieval castle” in her social studies class. Epic games, the creator of Fortnite also made Unreal Engine, a game creator for super high end games. They are trying to make Fortnite creative an easier to understand version of Unreal Engine (an entry point to using their more sophisticated tools), but for everyday people. Like Fortnite creative, every game design software has the possibility to input guns. This is not necessary and students will have to make sure their game is appropriate for school. Students will only use creative aspects of Fortnite creative and nothing violent, so anybody at any age can play it. 

We hope you understand that despite the stigma that fortnite has associated with it, we are asking you to let your children use Epic Games open ended tool as we would any other game design engine. Thank you for your consideration.

I, ______________________________________________________________ (Parent / Guardian Signature) allow my child, ________________________ use Fortnite creative in the classroom and understand that my child is taking responsibility to ensure that any content created is appropriate for school.