Why video games may be more useful than you think. 

Emerging research is finding more and more that gaming can be one of the most powerful teaching tools.  Granted, in order to truly learn from video games, the games must have an educational purpose. Many students play video games for fun with no learning goals in mind. So Grand Theft Auto, Halo, and the like aren't really a part of this conversation. At any rate, there are benefits to game-based learning beyond the fact that many students are more engaged by games than by more traditional teaching methods. Here are some of them:


  • Games provide instant feedback - With the immediate feedback provided by games, students spend more time adapting and responding than doing the same thing over and over again without results.   
  • Data tracking is often built-in - Games inherently contain systems that update players on their progress in real time.  
  • Games are reward-based -  Unlike grading systems in schools, which are de-motivational and take points away, games add points for doing things correctly. Failure in a game is much more likely to elicit a "try again" attitude than failure on a paper test.    


Read on to learn more about the benefits of games in learning... 

There are thousands out there, but here's some of our favorites...

English - Psychobabble - an addictive word-association game that not only builds vocabulary but also improves your ability to make connections.
History - WWII Lite - Trivia style app for history buffs and students who need to study up on the largest human conflict in history.

Physics - SimplyPhysics - Design complex structures and simulate your designs with a sophisticated physics engine.

Math - Dragonbox Algebra 12+ - over 350 levels that teach students the concepts of algebra without them even knowing.

Foreign Language - Duolingo - one of the best free apps for learning Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, and German.

Click here to learn about a fantastic SAT prep app! 

There are websites, apps, and video games for teaching every topic under the sun to elementary schoolers. If your student is resistant, has attention issues, or would simply benefit from a more multi-sensory approach, there is guaranteed to be a game to engage and teach him. Here's a few ideas...

Typing Adventure - free, web-based game that takes students on a typing treasure hunt.

Math Blaster Hyperblast 2 - dubbed "edutainment" by USA Today, this app seamlessly integrates math lessons into a journey to defeat the Alien Boss.

Reading Raven - award-winning, phonics-based reading app that includes self-paced lessons and 11 types of games and activities.

For some more math apps, click here.


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