Playing video games is not necessarily all bad, as recent research has shown. To leverage kids’ inherent interest and motivation in playing computer and video games, such games, if crafted well, could serve as great learning tools for today’s digital-savvy kids. Here are a couple of examples of online offerings for game-based learning in History and Math for K-12 students–
From the Florida Virtual School (FLVS) comes “Conspiracy Code”, an online 3D immersive game developed with 360Ed, a provider of learning software. There are multiple participants in the game, including teachers who act as facilitators. The game aids analytical, written, and collaborative skills of the students. There is support for written assignments, game-based assessments, and discussion-based assessments within the framework of the game.
“Conspiracy Code” starts this month offering a High School level American History course. The game is set in a fictional city. The students adopt avatars, learn about American History, and solve challenges within the game to thwart a conspiracy that threatens to erase and change the course of history. FLVS offers a variety of courses both in the U.S. and around the world.
“Calculation Nation” comes from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). It hosts a series of Math games that allow students to pit their Math skill against those of students from around the world. The topics covered in games such as Square Off, Factor Dazzle, Fraction Feud, Times Square and Slam Ball include fractions, multiplication, and factors. There are some social features. Games can be voted up and down, so the user can see what is most popular at any given time.
Calculation Nation is offered under the umbrella of a larger project of the NCTM called “Illuminations” which has links to other math-related online activities and resources.