What makes something a “good” educational resource? I think it is simply being good education. Let’s take this example, which is my favorite video on mean, median and mode for young students. I liked his singing.
First of all, this is an example of being age appropriate. For a class of sixth-graders, singing songs about the mean and a guy named Joe is pretty amusing. It may be that a class of undergraduates might find this immature.
Has multiple modes of instruction, for example, Funbrain/math brain, which I originally approached with suspicion because I’m a bit skeptical of giant education companies. Of course, I was also skeptical when I first heard it of the importance of multiple modes of instruction – visual, auditory, kinesthetic. Over the years, I’ve seen enough evidence that combining sensory input modes does improve retention. Funbrain/ math brain activities are a good example of this. Even when they aren’t so obvious why you won (so not being the best game), the graphics and sound are mildly entertaining enough to hold a student’s attention.
A third example of both multiple modes of instruction and teaching at the right level is Adapted Mind. Again, students select the grade level and topic. The games are kind of cute, with the ability to win monster stickers by answering questions correctly. As a recovering math teacher, what I liked the most about this was the Explain It option.
Last week, I had the privilege of speaking at LA Teachers Lounge, a great place to meet teachers doing interesting work in the Los Angeles area. A lot of what I discussed was the educational research that goes into our games – in short, what makes a good educational game is what makes a good educational resource for teaching is what makes good teaching … but for that you will have to wait until tomorrow or get our newsletter.
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