You don’t need me to tell you that everything is moving online. Habits in the way we bank, shop, play games and (perversely) socialise have all moved into the virtual realm and the same is becoming ever-truer in education.
A series of technological innovations in the classroom is changing the way our kids are learning right across the curriculum, and indeed the DfE is having a good look at the latest trends in the use of games as tools of teaching.
Most educational games are aimed at those aged from 5-15, but I’ve had a dig around and tried to find at least a few that would appeal to students aged 15 and upwards. So, here’s my top ten educational game websites for students and teachers alike.
Bitesize / BBC Schools: What better place to start than with our dearly beloved Beeb and their fantastic learning resource that has run for over a decade. Bitesize is the first stop for all things GCSE whilst Schools goes a little more in-depth for those approaching A-level. Plenty of resources there for teachers and parents too, as well as useful forums for kids.
MusicGames / AGAME: AGAME.com is one of those popular flash-based online gamesites favoured by the Facebook generation for killing any iota of spare time, but it has a great collection of music games that get you thinking too. MusicGames.com is much more of a bespoke music and rhythm learning site, but both cover a variety of genres and get pupils to demonstrate different skills such as rhythm, instrument knowledge, harmonies and much more. Worth a tinkle.
The Jason Project: Thoroughly thought out online games and digital labs designed to capture students’ attention and sustain their interest. Heavily weighted towards Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, users are asked to sign up for access to a plethora of well designed educational activities and games.
Cut the Knot: Interactive Mathematics Miscellany: Frankly a beffudlement (for me at least) of maths based puzzles and games covering Algebra, Arithmetic, Geometory, Calculus – the list goes on. And on. If you really want to drill down into your Mathematics revision this site beats your battered old textbook into a cocked hat.
NASA Quest Challenges: Nasa’s free learning resources are a mainstay of lists like these, and rightly so. A wide range of authentic scientific and engineering topics are covered through interactive games and challenges that are relevant to the real life experiences of those in the field. A galaxy of lesson plans, workbooks and other resources for teachers too. Boom-tish.
Teachable: Fantastic website housing endless resources croudsourced from teachers themselves, a good deal of which are games and quizzes designed for all subjects and year groups – including A-level.
Creative-Chemistry: Games, quizzes, worksheets and resources covering all things molecular for KS3, KS4 and KS5.
Arcadu: Unique online homework and revision site available on subscription to schools and parents. Educating, engaging and entertaining students right up to A-level through arcade quality gaming. Essentially, students are rewarded for achieving well on, say, times tables by being granted access to games. Intriguing.
Mangahigh: Making full use of the popularity of Japanese Manga style throughout the site, Mangahigh goes some way to changing traditional perceptions of Maths, using casual and colourful games to tackle crunchy subjects like quadratic equations head on. Worth a look at their reviews section for any sceptics.
Educational Web Adventures: Eduweb specializes in game-based learning and interactive scenarios over a wide range of subjects and stages. Notable mention for having games aimed at older students, as well as iPhone/iPad compatible content.
That’s ten, if you know of any more we’d love to hear from you – have your tuppence worth by adding your suggestions using the comment box provided.