Whyville was launched in 1999 by Numedeon, Inc. to apply over 20 years of research in education and cooperative learning to develop new web-based tools for education.
Researchers have identified the middle school years as a time when children, especially girls, lose their interest in math and science. Studies suggest that exposure to engaging educational and in particular scientific activities during this critical period can substantially influence future academic and career choices. We launched Whyville as a virtual city, which engages young people in constructive educational activities while promoting socially responsible behavior. It is an outgrowth of the company's extensive research and practical experience related to learner-centered, hands-on, inquiry-based education.
Inside Whyville, citizens learn about art history, science, journalism, civics, economics, and really so, so much more. Whyville works directly with the Getty, NASA, the School Nutrition Association, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (to name just a few) to bring engaging educational content to kids.
Today, there are countless learning games and activities on Whyville...which is probably one of the reasons Education Daily states that Whyville is one of "edu-gaming's biggest successes."
Increasingly, Whyville is finding its way into the classroom, from elementary schools to post-graduate courses for pre-service teachers. We encourage you to introduce Whyville to your students and even incorporate it into your curriculum. Registering as a teacher in Whyville allows you to bring your students on and manage their accounts. If you and your class join Whyville, we'd love to hear about your experience.
Learn more about the Teacher Registration Process
The Teacher Registration Process
- Signing up as a Teacher
- Go to www.whyville.net
- Follow the instructions and make your avatar, then click on the JOIN NOW! button. This takes you to the registration process.
- In the main registration page, fill in all the required items marked by a red asterisk.
- Among one of the non-required items will be:
Please select teacher in the drop down menu.
- If applicable, choose the grade you teach in the next item.
- Click the Sign Me Up button when you are ready.
Congratulations, you have now successfully registered for a Whyville teacher account. You will now go through a short tutorial on Whyville basics.
But because we haven't yet verified that you are indeed a teacher, you can't use Whyville's teacher tools. If you would like to bring your students onto Whyville and sign them up for accounts that are tied to your teacher account, you need to first be verified as a teacher. Once verified, you'll be able to control the chat/Ymail/BBS permissions of the students that are tied to your teacher account.
- Getting Verified as a Teacher
Every time that you log on to Whyville, the first page you see is the Welcome
Page. This page highlights new events, some of the games and activities on Whyville, articles from our weekly town newspaper etc. In the middle of this page, you will find a link to getting yourself verified as a teacher. Click on this link.
You will see a form that asks for your school information. After you have filled
this out and hit "submit", someone on our staff will verify the information by calling your school. Once we have done this, you will receive an email that indicates whether your verification was successful or not.
If you have been successfully verified, you will have a Class Roster book in your satchel. This is the red satchel that contains all your Whyville belongings. You find this near the top of the screen in the toolbar of icons:
- Click on the Class Roster book in your satchel (and also at the bottom of your HOME page) to access:
Follow the directions as stated accompanying the Class Roster book.
- A personalized URL that your students should use to register their accounts on Whyville. Accounts registered using this URL will be tied to your Whyville account.
- A permissions tool for you to regulate the Chat, BBS, and Ymail privileges of your students.