Blindfold Tic Tac Toe: Teaching Grid Concepts

Creative educational apps help students learn core concepts. Blindfold 3D Tic Tac Toe was created specifically to provide students with visual impairments and blindnesss an opportunity to practice digital grid concepts through a familiar game. In this iOS game, the Tic Tac Toe board is basically a grid; the rows and columns are announced so that the player can identify where the red and black checkers (“x” and “o”) are located.

Students who are visually impaired or blind often struggle with spatial concepts, which can impact math skills and orientation and mobility skills. Both of these are highly spatial in nature. Traditionally, students learn many spatial concepts through hands-on activities and tactual graphs and maps. In our digital classrooms, once a student understands the basic concept, the next step is to able to glean the same information from digital materials. Transitioning to digital math materials – specifically grids – was discussed In a previous Paths to Technology post, Digital Transitions #2: Math Grid Activities.

For students who are learning about grids, start by playing a tactile version of Tic Tac Toe. You can purchase tactile Tic Tac Toe games in many stores – including dollar stores – or you can easily create your own Tic Tac Toe boards using raised lines or Wikki Stycks and simple objects such as checkers, counting bears, or even candy pieces! The Tic Tac Toe board is a simple 3 X 3 grid. When using a tactile Tic Tac Toe board, be sure to name the grid columns and rows the same as the digital Blindfold Tic Tac Toe board. Blindfold Tic Tac Toe game is similar to a Coordinte Grid with the Columns A, B, and C, and the rows  are 1, 2, and 3, starting from the ‘orgin’ in the bottom left corner.

Teacher Hint: If appropriate, use math terms, such as X axis (Columns) and Y Axis (Rows), Coordinate Grid, and Origin (where the X and Y axis intersect in the bottom left corner of the grid). With Blindfold Tic Tac Toe, ‘A,1’ is the origin and is located at the bottom left corner of the grid. It is important that students understand that some grids start the numbers and letters in the top, left corner; Coordinate Grids start the numbers and letters in the bottom, left corner.

Coordinate Grid with the the numbering starting at the Origin (bottom left corner); Y and X axis both run 1 - 6.

To play Blindfold’s traditional (1 level) Tic Tac Toe game, select ‘Flat Board, Practice’. While there is a visual Tic Tac Toe board available, Blindfold games are designed to be audio games. This game has built-in audio and can be played with or without VoiceOver. Be sure to listen to the instructions as the gestures used to play the game may vary slightly from the typical gestures used with VoiceOver. For detailed instructions, select ‘Help’. Level 2 and level 3 are 3D Tic Toc Toe games.

Blindfold 3D Tic Tac Toe is a mental game of the classic Tic Tac Toe – with a twist!  Instead of one board, there are three levels, A, B and C (bottom, middle and top). The object of the game is to place three checkers in a line. The line can be all on one level or across all three levels!

Game Instructions

Blindfold Games are played in Portrait Mode – be sure to turn the iPad to Portrait Mode. Students play against the computer and always go first. Student checkers are always red and the computer’s checkers are black. The cursor always begins in A,1. If playing 3D Tic Tac Toe, the cursor begins in the Bottom Level A, Column A, Row 1. As the student makes a move, the game announces his/her location by Column then Row.

  • Swipe one finger up, down, right or left to navigate around the grid
  • Swipe two fingers up or down to move between levels
  • One finger double tap to place your red checker in a spot
  • Three fingers swipe up to go back to the previous screen

Teacher Hint:  You must swipe right, left, up or down; the screen does not react when you drag your finger.

To download the game, press here:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/blindfold-3-d-tic-tac-toe/id1231870210?mt=8

 

 

 

Blindfold Games: Got a story?

Many people contacted me about Stuart Beveridge’s experience with the boy he helped with Blindfold Games, and asked if the games have helped any other people.

I’ve blogged about a few of them over the past 4 years; here’s one I remember well:

Now that I have mastered most of your bowling game, I need to tell you a story I think you will enjoy.  Your game is so life-like, and brings us the reallity of a live bowling alley.

I am totally blind, and I started bowling in 1966. I carried an average score of 136.  My high games were 148, and a 197. Other than that, I had the occasional game of 160.  I bowled until 1985, when I was in a terrible auto crash. It left me with a shattered left leg from the knee down.  I would never bowl again. I really missed the game.

Since I have your game, I can now relive my dream of bowling.  It was my favorite hobby.  Many thanks to you, for bringing us a lifetime product.  This game just works.  It is just wonderful to use my fingers to aim at the pins and get a strike, and then throw the same kind of throw, and get fewer pins.  I am so happy.

If you have a story you would like to share, please contact me: marty@blindfoldgames.org