These educational games keep kids informed and entertained and WURRLYedu founder Nadine Levitt suggests considering “whether or not (the show or game) serves learning by inspiring creativity and curiosity, or replaces it.” However, according to Lisa Castaneda, co-founder and CEO of foundry10 education research organisation, the “educational” label isn’t everything. “People may mistakenly believe that games that aren’t marketed as educational have no learning value,” she says. “I would argue that a larger concern is that educational games may not provide the learning value that parents expect.”
It is the responsibility of parents and teachers to assist children in making connections between their entertainment options and the lessons being taught. “When we choose a game for learning, we should think about our objectives and then check in with our kids to make sure those objectives were met,” Castaneda says. So, she says, if the game is skill-oriented and the goal is to practise and gain fluency, check to see if those skills have improved.
For elementary students, the Doodles + Digits online platform makes math visual and relatable by using real-life examples.
Even if there is no specific goal in mind, Levitt believes that reflecting back after the child has watched a show is beneficial. “It could be as simple as asking them what their biggest “aha!” moment was and how it made them feel.”
Options for virtual reality
Follow-up is also beneficial for virtual reality tools. “We had a teacher who used a virtual experience with refugees to help students understand the experiences and perspectives of those attempting to flee,” Castaneda explains. The teacher organised a digital pen pal exchange with student refugees from the region, and the students raised funds for UNICEF.
Whatever programme or game you pick, keep in mind that the youngster must like it in order for it to be used. “Students nowadays like fast-paced programmes with plenty of action,” says Caroline Farkas, math education expert and creator of Doodles + Digits, an online math education resource. “I normally suggest to parents ‘bite-sized’ movies or programmes that will keep their child’s attention span.”
Keep your youngster involved and delighted while expanding their knowledge with the following suggestions:
According to math education expert Caroline Farkas, it is ideal for younger pupils since it employs several mathematical models and thoroughly teaches fundamental arithmetic ideas.
Cyberchase (PBSKids.org or local PBS channel)
This animation explains primary arithmetic fundamentals using real-life examples, activities, and worksheets.
Mochi + Waffles (Netflix)
This children’s culinary programme, produced and starring Michelle Obama, presents a fun approach to healthy eating.
Kratts in the wild (PBS Kids and YouTube)
Animal enthusiasts will enjoy learning about animals, conservation, and science while watching Chris and Martin Kratt’s cartoon escapades.
Kids’ Science Show (YouTube)
In inventive short movies, the presenter and her robot rat answer questions like “What are pickles?”
WURRLYedu’s educational online platforms:
The Department of Education uses Founder Nadine Levitt’s music education platform, which is meant to make creating and learning pleasurable.
Doodles + Digits allows young pupils to have fun while studying math.
Digits + Doodles (Also available on YouTube and streaming on Highbrow)
Farkas built this channel to make arithmetic more accessible and approachable to primary pupils by using real-life situations.
Antics in Mathematics (Also available on YouTube)
This video series uses comedy to break down hard arithmetic topics.
Inquire With The StoryBots (Also available on Netflix)
This Emmy Award-winning show explains how telephones function and why we should wash our teeth.
This programme provides targeted arithmetic and spelling practise for students in grades K-5.
BYJU’s Disney Magic Workbooks (app + hands-on activities using Osmo technology)
Pre-K through third graders are taught math, language, and reading abilities.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf (Nintendo Switch)
This game encourages creativity and real-world dialogues by using positive themes and role models.
Amazon Odyssey on Animal Planet (virtual reality)
While sailing a boat down an Amazonian river and setting up camp in the bush, users learn about more than a dozen animal species.