For many teachers, online games are the scourge of the classroom – a drain on students’ attention, time and potential. Any educator who has ever tried to teach a lesson using online resources or taken a class in the computer lab has probably experienced the frustration of finding a student on a gaming site instead of sticking to the intended lesson plan. But online games don’t always have to be a distraction (see last week’s post 5 Reasons to Embrace Gaming in the Classroom).
In fact, there are many brilliant educational games out there that can actually engage and inspire students and equip them with the tools and ambition to approach a whole host of exciting careers and academic paths…
1. Pavlov’s Dog
Based on the work and achievements of a Nobel prize-winning physiologist, this game helps students learn about reflexes, and the study of animal and human behaviour.
2. Power Up
This brilliant game with great graphics is an exciting 3D adventure where students are challenged to save a planet from ecological devastation. Students are inspired to learn about ecology as well as the potential for world-changing activism, and can play with their friends at the same time!
3. Lord of the Flies
A game to introduce students to the famous novel by William Golding, this could inspire budding writers, but is also useful for helping students to learn about analysing literature and strengthen their memory techniques.
4. Cisco Binary Game
This fab game is brilliant fun but also inspires students by introducing them to the binary number system used in computer programming!
5. The Transistor
This game is all about inspiring students through the study and exploration of physics! The game casts students in the role of a worker at a transistor recycling factory, allowing them to learn about the qualities and components of transistors and the important role they play in physics.
6. Climate Challenge
This great game from the BBC puts the student in the role of the head of the European Nations, responsible for tackling climate change between 2000 and 2100. Great for inspiring students to learn, not only about climate change and the environment, but also diplomacy and policy making!
7. Laser Challenge
Guaranteed to be a firm favourite with students, this site combines a fun laser game with interesting scientific facts to inspire further study of the many uses and properties of lasers.
8. Immune System Defender
Perfect for inspiring budding medics and physiologists, this game challenges students to defeat a bacterial infection using a range of different cells.
What online games do your students find inspiring? Share your recommendations with us in the comments below!
Feature image courtesy of Flickr, EricHolsinger. Image 1 courtesy of Flickr, walkadog. Image 2 courtesy of Flickr, coryschmitz. Image 3 courtesy of Flickr, takver.