Summer break presents the perfect opportunity for students to dig into games and build skills that'll reap huge rewards when they return in the fall. Game making can be one of the best ways to get students thinking creatively while cultivating useful technical literacies, and there's a ton of absorbing tools that students won't tire of over the long break. Here are three options to choose from depending on the type of technology students have at home.
Play is nothing if not social. Games organize play, allowing us to wrangle it and use it to experiment with the world. When we play games, more often than not, it's us under the microscope. But there's a trend in design toward video games that build social skills and encourage players to reflect on themselves and their relationships. Here are a few games that do just that.
For educators who are interested in using games for learning -- specifically towards developing skills as they relate to the Common Core State Standards -- here are five games students can enjoy and that we’ve found sync with standards.
Environmental education for most adults used to mean learning a little bit about recycling and planting some trees on Arbor Day. We didn't delve into ecology as much as we skimmed the surface. But things have gotten more complex since then, and the topic of climate change has brought environmental education to the forefront.
Depending on the context in which it is used, and the priorities of the educators (which includes those present in the classroom, lurking at home, or at their drawing boards or computer screens at an educational publisher), one can skew the same application toward app-dependent or app-enabling ends.
Sure, games can teach gravity or supply and demand, but can they show us how to build a good argument? The following five games do just that by modeling the work of argumentation. Best of all, they approach the subject critically, showing the myriad uses for persuasion and how it's always political.
The success and popularity of Minecraft in and out of classrooms is no surprise. It's one of the best examples of the potential of learning with games because it embraces exploration, discovery, creation, collaboration, and problem-solving while allowing teachers to shepherd play toward any subject area. But Minecraft is not the only game of this kind. Take a look at some of these.