Are they really learning? How educational are educational games continued.


The last post was hopefully a titillating introduction to Dr. AnnMaria De Mars, Dr. Yolanda Venegas, and Marisol Castillo’s research. More on their investigation of what makes a good game here! They found that there are certain features that make particular games more effective than others, a couple of which are proudly exemplified through Spirit Lake as demonstrated below: Screen Shot 2014-07-01 at 3.29.30 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-01 at 3.29.53 PM Furthermore, De Mars, Venegas, and Castillo found that highly effective teachers consistently teach specific procedures and facts while students are engaged in hands-on or “real-life” activities, and that in mathematics, an emphasis on procedures, rules, and concepts boosts math skills. Simultaneously, they found that effective games:

  • implement auditory elements for different learning styles,
  • make it clear which player is which and who is winning,
  • are Common Core aligned,
  • provide specific feedback,
  • have explanations that are both written and spoken,
  • have multi-lingual voice versions available,
  • have good graphics, and
  •  have an off-line version that can be downloaded in the event of poor internet connection.

Their research provides insight into why Spirit Lake is such an effective game. Beyond encompassing all of the above technical features, which are assets to any educational game, Spirit Lake stands out from the rest because of its its ability to adapt to a student’s needs and focus on the user’s experience, all while keeping players engaged and unaware of the complex technical details that go into it. Without further ado, we urge you to play Spirit Lake and experience for yourselves the results of the months of hard work and research by the 7 Generation Games team.  We hope you have as much fun playing it as we did creating it, and that we make a difference in the lives of children struggling to attain mathematic proficiency!

 Happy Fourth of July!fireworksUntil next time,

Diana J. , The Blogging Intern

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