Computer games sometimes get a bad rap for being violent or mind-numbing time-wasters. But what about computer games for learning math, languages, and more? Now there are computer games for learning, made for both children and adults. As any parent and teacher knows, games make learning more fun. What kid wouldn’t rather play a game instead of doing a repetitive drill?
Games are designed to make learning more fun, and they can be especially appealing to those who have a more solitary learning style. Sometimes children who have advanced skills become bored during a lesson aimed at the rest of the class. Some teachers will have the child do an advanced computer lesson or game during this time, rather than sitting through a topic that is remedial for them. This can help advance their skills while at the same time retaining their love of learning.
Activities designed for elementary students are often designed or approved by teachers. They can be modeled on the elementary school lessons, but give students a more interactive way to learn. Activities may cover core content areas like math or reading, and they also teach children computer skills. Using sound can really help early readers understand the lessons better. Even knowing that the games are educational, children will typically be more excited to play a game than in completing yet another worksheet, for example.
Computer games for learning are available for both Macs and PCs, while others are designed to work with your TV instead of a computer. Some games are online or down-loadable, while others come on a CD. Some may even encourage physical activity, such as riding a special bike while answering the math questions. Common topics include math, reading, color recognition, counting, and foreign languages, and the games themselves are virtually unlimited. Your child can help run a circus by answering math questions, color pictures while learning Spanish color words, or create a newspaper by finding common verbs. These are just a few examples, and you can find a game style that will meet your child’s personality and learning style, covering nearly any topic. Regardless of the type of game, it should stimulate your child’s love of learning.
As children grown, so do the computer games. Older children can learn geography through adventure-style games. There are also quest, and simulation games, plus curriculum-based games. Some learning objectives can include learning new words, thinking logically and/or creatively, strategy planning, following maps, or working as a team.
Adults aren’t left out when it comes to computer games for learning. Educational games can teach adults about different subjects, such as historical events and foreign languages, or they can teach different skills. After all, pilots and astronauts often use flight simulators to learn their skills, which are basically very advanced computer games.
There are even computer games for learning to play piano or guitar, or other creative skills. These are designed for children of all ages, and can make learning a musical instrument easier and more fun.