I have been enjoying this summer break and having a little technology downtime. However the kids have been playing quite extensively on the iPads as the weather has not always been conducive to swimming and playing around outside.
We have a wide selection of games on the iPad for the “kids” enjoyment and a couple leap to mine as useful tools that could be applied to learning. Why would I want to use games for learning, well they are engaging, self motivating, rewarding and have instant feedback. So here are a couple that I think have potential:
Simple Physics. Here you are required to build structures for a specific task. In the image below its a bomb shelter. The task is to build a shelter that withstands three explosion and remain within budget. The lower the cost the more points. To build it you must consider angles and strength, direction and force. Its fun and engaging. But its more than a bomb shelter, you build dams cranes, tree houses, submarines and staircases.
Here is a screengrab
Tinkerbox – this is a similar physics game to Simple Physics. Here you use logic, force, motion and mechanics to solve a series of problems. The game is supported by a tutorials (see below) that assist you in developing your solution. They are not easy either, there is considerable challenge involved in this game.
Rush Hour – this is a change of style and genre, but is an excellent learning and thinking game. This is a computer simulation of the real game of the same name. The objective is to move the cars in a sequence to allows you to release the red car from the grid lock it is in. The number of cars and the complexity of the sequence varies from easy to hard. Its a great game for developing logic and process. .
W.E.L.D.E.R. This stands for Word Examination Laboratory for Dynamic Extraction and Reassessment. Yea its a triffle ostentatious, but behind this mouthful lies a great game for the english student. Simply rearrange the letters and add in a few to create words (they have over 15000 loaded in the dictionary) Spell the word correctly, score the points and the letters are removed. It is a very addictive game.
Its easy to overlook the potential of games for learning. Find a game that matches your learning objectives, that reinforces a concept, that provides a different mode of understanding and you can unlock a world of engagement and fun.
WHAT GAMES HAVE YOU FOUND THAT COULD BE USE IN CLASS? I would love to hear about them.