Saturday, October 24, 2009


I freely admit that I have always disliked playing video games; however, in today's world with modern students, instructors can expect that video games will engage and teach their students at all levels of education in ways traditional education does not.

I prefer free games that are easy to access for me and my students. Some games are very simple crossword puzzles and matching games such as those found at one site for Elementary Children and this free resource. Others can be more involved like the ones on this BBC site where role playing and experimenting with different scenarios teaches about the past. One site with a wide variety of game types and topics is

A resource that I enjoyed included many games from several periods of US history including one two player game where you act as British or Colonials battling it out for control of the Colonies. Another role playing game at tests if you can Strike It Rich in the California Gold Rush.

A simple five question game about myself that both my husband and I had fun taking was "Which Founding Father are You?" at Surprisingly, this quick game got a conversation going in my house (He was Hamilton and I was Madison)... this game might be a fun way to engage or "hook" students in a more in-depth discussion about founding fathers.

You may be asking yourself "How can I assess learning from a game?" I know I have debated the use of games. However, I am beginning to realize that the rehearsal of information presented in new, dynamic, and interesting ways and the problem solving in these games has as much value as some other more traditional practice activities. There are, of coarse, games that are much cooler and detailed that are not free. But those are for another you have any free games you like to use with your classes?

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