A recent study by NPD shows that 91% of children, ages 2-17, play video games. More time is spent on a computer today, than at a desk with a stack of book. Children are playing video and computer games and are learning from these games, for better or worse. If the games are violent, it is inevitable that they will learn violence. Using games as an education vehicle is a great way for children to learn, without having to force them to do it. Games are being developed, on a daily basis, that are fun and educational and here are some great websites to find these games:
Learn4good.com currently has 15 educational games designed for high school students that are designed to challenge while teaching skills like critical thinking, multi-tasking, and strategizing. Several of these games are considered “tycoon” games, which involve starting and building a business from the ground up.
For students who prefer to play on their iPad, quizhub.comhas quizzes available for a variety of high school subjects, which are iPad compatible. These quizzes take very little time and can be used to prepare for a quiz or test for school, as well being used for general trivia knowledge.
Games are a great way to make science fun and effortless. This site has games that resemble popular games, but they have an added educational twist. There is even a game available that is a 3D adventure game, which will be hard for most children to resist.
More subjects are available on neok12.com, including math, history, English, and social studies. Games and videos on this site are broken down by subject and then by more specific topics, such as “Insects”, “Nuclear Power” and “Respiratory System”.
Powermylearing.com has a variety of games and activities for any age/grade level. This website includes categories that are missing from some of the others, such as arts, music, and technology. There are even some games that can assist in considering career choices.
Keeping in mind that children can be rebellious, especially those that are in high school, it is a good idea to find a way to present these games without pointing out that they are educational. Games can make learning fun and painless for any age and are a great tool that is often underutilized. As with any type of game, there should be a limit on the amount of time children are playing, however encouraging students to find a game that they enjoy and learn from is a win-win.