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Holiday season and an article to write .... topic? GAMES! FUN! TOYS!
But there is less joy than I originally hoped for; my standards for fun and education do not include drill and practice. The internet provides an opportunity to experience different kinds of learning and certainly different kinds of games, even educational online games. But the model most sites have opted for are the drill and practice, matching games, trivia quizzes and traditional educational techniques that for the most part do not represent good education!
Of the latter persuasion there are almost too many to mention. Most have features that I find questionable, such as chat and email services from within the website. The other features that we need to question are those with banners and ads as well as those that require membership and keep track of personal information. Here is a sampling of that type:
• http://www.funbrain.com/ Section for teachers and parents, you can post your own games/quizzes for your students; mostly trivial pursuit with lots of drill and practice
• http://www.funschool.com/ Lots of ads? wants you to sign up for stuff, chat and email
• http://www.kidscom.com/home_flash.html Chat email
• http://www.eduplace.com/tales/ Some potential
• http://www.learningplanet.com/index.asp Requires membership
The following seem to be of better quality and have some redeeming features:
• http://www.crayola.com/kids/ just for fun but some have merit in terms of building creativity
• http://www.sesameworkshop.org/sesamestreet/?scrollerId=games interactive Sesame Street for the little ones
• http://www.seussville.com/seussville/ There is a concentration game, catch the balloons, beginning reading. Cute site for preschool -2nd grade
• http://www.wonka.com/ Once here children can select the Planet Vermes (breakout game), invention room, Loompaland and four other places to go. Loompaland has a science quiz on animal trivia for elementary grades, a game of remembering sequences (Simon says), the Invention room has invention trivia for elementary grades and 3 or 4 other games as well. A fun site.
• http://pbskids.org/ children can visit their favorite characters for example Clifford the Big Red Dog and for preschool through 1st grade there are fun things to do dealing with the weather, singing songs
• http://pbskids.org/clifford/games/index.html The Help Clifford game is for PreK-K and is where children have to pick what Clifford needs. Basically a fun site.
• http://www.nationalgeographic.com/kids/games/ interactive adventures, geography games, mazes and mystery photos.
These represent an interesting use of the internet -
• http://www.bigideafun.com/penguins/arcade/spaced_penguin/default.htm Info for parents, lessons in physics. Most of the rest of this site has general arcade games.
• http://www.literacycenter.net/lessonview_en.htm Good stuff, does different languages I liked this one!
• http://www.nickjr.com/ There are some good games and activities here but you must hunt to see what is appropriate. TONS of games.
• http://www.howstuffworks.com/category.htm?cat=Toys Always a great site, this webpage is about how games and toys work
• http://www.howstuffworks.com/vios.htm Check this out if you want to see what the internet may look like
The following sites have definite EDUCATION value and come with lesson plans and matching standards, downloadable applets, Math
• http://standards.nctm.org/document/eexamples/chap5/5.1/ Fractions - grades 3-8
• http://illuminations.nctm.org/mathlets/shapebalance/index.html Algebra grades 3-12
• http://illuminations.nctm.org/mathlets/factor/index.html Factoring, gr 3-8
• http://illuminations.nctm.org/mathlets/fractal/index.html Fractals, gr 3-12
• http://illuminations.nctm.org/mathlets/isometric/index.html Isometric Drawing Tools, gr 3-12 Fun to play with
• http://illuminations.nctm.org/mathlets/pooltable/index.html Pool Table geometry, gr 3-8
• http://italladdsup.org/ An entire website devoted to online games and simulations in personal finance and economics, gr 8-12
As for me, give me http://www.shockwave.com/sw/home/ Even kids would enjoy some of the word games. My favs are Collapse, TextTwist and WordUp And did I mention Snood? (-: http://www.snood.com/index.html Great game.
I look forward to hearing from you all with your top picks for great uses of the internet in the form of educational games. You could also send along your own favorite games that are just for fun (-: Happy Holidays!