Constructivist and Situated Theory as Related to Game Based Learning

One of the games on this site is found under KS2 and called Questionaut. It has all of the elements of a video game. There are strategies required to move from one level to another, the students answer various questions to move on and they are rewarded when they meet the goal. The designers change the questions frequently so the student is playing a new game when they return to it. The other games on this site are also quite engaging. Levels range from Kindergarten through high school.

http://www.mission-us.org/ This is a simulation game site that offers two missions. One takes place during the Revolutionary War featuring a young boy of 14 finding his way as an apprentice to a printer. The next features a young girl during slavery that is planning to run away with another slave. Both games give the player an idea of what life was at that time. They collect badges of different kinds and vocabulary is highlighted throughout the games.

www.youjoinus.com/energyville This is a game that requires the player to power a city and still stay within environmental requirements to keep the city safe from pollution. It has continuous information available to help the player make a good decision. It is attached to a site created by Chevron (interesting) and The Economist Group http://www.energyville.com/.

http://www.squidoo.com/gamemaking#module2054341 This link helps find tools and other links to game creation. Some of the creation sites are simple; others require the creation of your characters, laying out a path and levels, as well as the reward badges and systems. This should lead to need tools in the creation of a classroom game.

http://www.sploder.com/ This link is a game creation site that allows the student to play, create, and publish games. The players choose games by searching tags and rate them after they play. The development of the game allows the student to choose backgrounds and characters. They also identify and create the levels as they work.

www.mygamebuilders.com This site offers game building step by step giving the gamer some creative control over the elements of the game. Like the other sites, the gamer builds the levels one at a time identifying the path of the character. The icons and pictures on this site are safe for most students.

http://www.thinkport.org/default.tp This site is from the state of Maryland. It provides information for parents, lesson ideas for teachers, and various learning games for students. They are focused on simulation games and activities that require the player to create something in real world style. Free registration and you don’t have to be from Maryland.

http://www.digizen.org/ This is a great resource for teaching students about safety on social networking sites. The student plays a simulation game about someone getting hurt over a text that went through the school. The player makes decisions on who they want to talk to and have choices on what to say. They can play several times with a different result.

http://www.sheppardsoftware.com/ This site is free – you can pay and eliminate the ads – has games and activities for students from early childhood through sixth grade. Most of the games are review and practice but they have a set of ‘brain games’ that are challenging. The geography site is helpful for students who are still learning about U.S. States and the continents and the location of other countries.

www.coolmath4kids.com Many arcade type games are available within this program. Two simulation games, Lemonade Stand and Coffee Shop, found in Cool Math, can be used for an economics lesson. Students begin with a specific amount of money and then purchase supplies to run their shops. This is a good introduction to an economics lesson.

www.simcity.com Sim City is one of the most well know simulation games and can be used with upper elementary grades as well as with middle school students. The player is just out of high school and needs to get an education, an apartment, clothes, food – well you get the idea. Topics that can be infused in this game are economics, values, and mathematics.

http://www.practicalmoneyskills.com/games/ Having enough money to retire, finish a road trip, or finance a sports team are included on this site. The site is dedicated to teaching students about money management. These games are fairly simple in nature but still have a solid lesson embedded within the play.

http://www.hoodamath.com Contains a variety of games which meet Common Core objectives. This site also offers worksheets students can fill out while playing.

http://www.math-play.com/ This math program includes Multiplication Jeopardy.

Searching for games online can be fun, but also time consuming. Limit your searches to the age and topic. Teachers who are assigning games need to have played the game, at least once to see exactly how the student is going to learn the skill the game is programed to teach.

Most sites that offer learning games also have a section for teachers with lesson plans an ideas on how to incorporate the game(s) into the world of school. Simply by searching for games, teachers can discover new resources for their classes.

Using educational games in the classroom is a WORLD of fun! Using educational games in the classroom is a WORLD of fun!