Digital Learning via Puzzles, Games, and Simulations


digiTo make learning more interesting for kids in this digital age games apps are used to encourage students to practice needed skills.

How do we know if these apps are promoting learning and enhancing skills?

Marie Bierede states  “”In reality, most educational games only “work” because the alternative is worksheets, and that’s a fairly low bar for competing for kids’ attention.”  Learning apps should be intrinsically rewarding not simply a game that is used to avoid painful worksheets.  

Here is a list of apps and what they are used for:

Just-In-Time Learning 

These apps are used for reference  or “how to” do something.  For instance, students can use  Instructables to Khan Academy to to the upcoming MentorMob.   

A place for puzzles and casual games

Digital devices make new and truly different kinds of puzzles possible, such as the incredibly beautiful and popular app, The Room and its sequel, The Room Two.  

For more serious games  World of Warcraft, has nothing to do with war but similarly exemplifies the potential and reality of skill-building through virtual environments in several dimensions.

 Heartmath apps provide instant second-to-second feedback using heart rate variability as a measurement – as the user is able to enter a mental state of calm and clarity, associated increases in heart rate variability are reported through a soothing tone or a visual display. 

The world of learning should be fun for kids and the apps should be both educational and challenging for students.

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