What better way to teach the consitution than with a game? Are you teaching your students about the election process this year? There's a game for that too. Both of these games are avalible as apps in LANrev or as online games at iCivics.org
Choose to be a Democrat or Republican. Choose your issues. Raise money, create advertisments, and make speeches to win the election.
You're a constitutional lawyer. Determine whether someone has the right according to the constitution and which ammendment guarantees that right. Oh, and do all this while racing the clock.
If you have ever been worried that technology is making kids less active, you should check out Go Noddle. As I visit classrooms, I am seeing this tech tool used all the time to get kids moving. Whether being used on rainy days for indoor recess or just to help kids get their wiggles out during transition time this tool is a fun way to engage students. We all know the research shows that exercise and active movement helps children focus and learn. Check it out. GoNoodle.com
It was more than 10 years ago when I first realized video games can have educational use. Being a fairly new teacher, I knew games could be used in learning, but was more geared toward quiz-type fact based games. My brother, David, who is a programmer (accounting software, not video games) showed me the potential of video games for learning. His son was struggling in high school despite being gifted. Both father and son share a love for multi-player computer games like World of Warcraft. David was convinced that video games required complex problem solving skills and reasoning. Turns out, the research backs up my brother’s insight. According to an article by Nancy Sardone, IQ scores are raising and many think this is due to the cognitive complexity of video games. David saw how hard his son worked to move on to the next level of the game and knew his son wasn’t being lazy in school; he was bored. In school, working hard and getting work done just means you have down time, not more challenges. David and I would have long conversations about creating video games that incorporated traditional school skills into the complex narratives of the game. Together we played around with the game, Never Winter Nights, which has a design feature for players to create their own worlds, characters, and quests. We integrated mathematical logic puzzles requiring players to solve the puzzles in order to understand the quests, such as determining which character was a liar or truth-teller in order to get the correct directions. Though nothing much came of the game we worked on, it opened my mind up to the possibilities for these video games in education. This is not to say that we should let kids play shoot-em-up games instead of science, but there may be ways to take the good qualities of games for our own purposes.
Still interested? Take a look at the research:
Teachers can create interactive and fun games in their classes by using these fun game PowerPoint templates. These games are perfect for engaging your students in learning, particularly for reviews. Games included are Classroom Feud, Classroom Jeopardy, and Wheel of Riches (as seen above) and other game show/board game-based games.
- Stacey Dudzinski
Research is showing that Digital Natives are fascinated with playing games on devices, so why not use electronic gaming to teach?
Read this article on the benefits of gaming and learning: http://www.medicaldaily.com/how-video-games-can-help-children-succeed-school-246201.
Teachers are often looking for content specific apps to reinforce the lessons that they are teaching. They are hoping for a quiz or perhaps even a game to drill and review what students need to remember. Though I can share with them games to practice multiplication facts, grammar rules, or location of states and capitals I know that is not really building higher level thinking or 21st century skills. In order to truly harness the power of this technology in the classroom, we must go beyond the Blooms levels of remembering and understanding into creating. Let me help you find more than beyond basic content apps and move towards what I call “content creation” apps. For example, free apps such as Animoto or Educreations allow students to create presentations to teach what they have learned, and Bitsboard or Zondle allow students to create interactive games on the content they choose. Such content creation apps allow for higher level of thinking as students produce their own knowledge and search for answers. By allowing students to create their own content teachers can also easily differentiate instruction to meet the needs of all learners.
Education is rapidly evolving to the surroundings of our kids daily. One of the evolutions that is happening right now is Game-Based learning. Learning with games is not just about playing games while a student is learning. Game-based learning is about being able to develop multiple skills with a student at one time. The game is not the reward for the learning but the learning happens through the game. Just because it is fun doesn't mean is shouldn't be hard. In this article the author tells us that there are 4 essential questions when planning to implement games into their classroom. Please take the time to read this article to effectively implement game-based learning in your classroom!
Discovery Education offers free student resources that bring learning to life both inside and outside the classroom. The site offers free interactive games, videos, contests, virtual labs and activities designed to help students dive deeper into a topic —and have fun too! - Stacey J. Dudzinski