As a parent, educational professional or mentor you’re always looking for new creative ways to help students learn. Educational computer games have significantly improved over the past few years to engage students and track their ability to retain information. Here are 3 games that are heads and shoulders above the rest:
Simulators can help students become more confident with their skills before working with actual materials. Froguts is an interactive computer program that takes a student through the dissection process (frogs, pigs, etc.). The game uses audio narration, captioned text and realistic 3-D simulation to deliver key concepts within the theory and foundations of frog dissection. Each topic is presented in a “layered systems based approach.” After a level has been completed students take random quizzes or tests. The ability to quiz students immediately helps teachers understand right way if information is being retained. Frogtuts was featured in the New York Times and C-Net and has received praise for it’s realistic photos and simulation.
Discover Babylon takes students back to Mesopotamian time while they use math, reading and writing skills to discover and explore contributions not well known to many Americans. The computer game is targeted at students’ ages 8 –14 and realistic digital environments to engage students in challenges and mysteries that can only be solved through developing an understanding of Mesopotamian society, business practices and trade. The game features historical and scientific information, 3-D photorealistic simulations of temple complexes that allow the user and open ended exploration and discovery. Students are tested though a question and answer system to ensure they fully understand what they have learned. The game was coined as “a game with a history lesson” in USA Today.
The Atlantis Remixed Project is a program that uses 3D multi-user environments where students (ages 9-16) can go to virtual places to play games, talk with other users and mentors, build virtual personae and eventually create their own games. With a storyline inspiring a disposition towards social action students learn that their actions impact the world they live in. Atlantis Remixed keeps the teacher as a relevant part of the learning process. The program allows teachers to review work, provide feedback, track progress and maintain student data including graphs, missing work and amount completed.
There is a competitive market when it comes to educational games and not all games are equal. There are plenty of educational games that are a waste of time. In order to be effective educational games should break down complex ideas and give learners immediate and continuous feedback. They should also be adapted to the individual pace of the learner. What success have you seen with educational games?
About the Author: David Malmborg works with Dell, and enjoys writing about technology. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, the outdoors, and spending time with his family. If you would like to learn more about Dell educational technology and computers for your home, click here.
Image source: Dell Computers