Game-Based Learning Website – supersmartgames.com

March 10, 2008 at 11:15 am 1 comment

I recently came across www.supersmartgames.com through my research and it looks promising. It provides links and ratings of learning-based games which you can sort by age group, subject or platform. Some of the games from what I have seen have the commercial game look and some are actually commercial games. The remainder are mini games but ones that which incorporate elements of game design to an extent.

You can view the maths games available by the following link:
http://www.supersmartgames.com/blogcategory/61/

Here are some examples I picked out from the maths games on the website which illustrate the varied products.

Arcademic Math Games

“These educational video games offer an innovative approach to teaching basic academic skills by incorporating features of arcade games and educational practices into online games that motivate, intrigue, and teach!”

Maths games by Arcademic Skill Builders include multi and single player and are simple but aesthetically pleasing mini games. They have a clean simple casual game feel but have a strong focus on learning. You can have a look at the games available on their website.

I think these games are definitely an improvement on the common dry content quiz type of elearning with some graphics slapped on. However, with simple maths like addition and subtraction it is hard to get away from actually showing the sum. With more complex maths, and an audience who are used to playing complex commercial games, the dry content needs to be presented in an interesting way.

DimensionM by Tabula Digita

“Shipwrecked at sea, Darienne Clay, daughter of a brilliant scientist at the University of Hawaii’s new biotech program, washes up on the shore of an abandoned island after the university’s summer school research vessel she was on meets with disaster.”

None of the demos work on my PC! You may have luck on a Mac. The website can be found here. See the demos under ‘Games > Game Demos’ and detailed video clips of how the system works under ‘How It Works > Video’.

Tabula Digita seem to have ticked all the boxes, except that it wasn’t clear from the videos how the games cover other aspects of maths. All that was shown were line equations and coordinates. The polish and gameplay seem to be of a high commercial standard and the learning and maths is integrated very well into the context of the game. Tabula Digita, from what I have seen, seem to be far ahead of the others when it comes to educational games. They have included instructional modules and assessments in the game which are completed pre-missions and acumulate data on the child’s progress and scores. They run through the main rules behind the maths theories and make sure the students understand them before starting their next mission. Additionally there are monitoring tools available for the teachers to keep track of data and convert them to other usable formats.

Tabula Digita have developed an extremely powerful tool and I do think these are the kind of games that should be developed to aid learning. Of course subject matters do differ but this provides an example of how well learning material can be presented using game design techniques and by this, truly engaging the audience.

Great Geometry Adventure

“In Gary the Swamp Frog’s Great Geometry Adventure, you play through a total of seventy-five levels of geometric madness encompassing shape recognition, perimeter determination, area computation, and volume calculation. Study hard and learn well to use your knowledge to free your friends”

No demo available but there is a little bit of information on the website. To me this looks like another quiz type game but with more immersive graphics. Questions come up on the screen with typical multiple choice answers. Quite disappointing after seeing what Tabula Digita are doing!

Timez Attack by Big Brainz

“Timez Attack is an amazing new video game exclusively for kids to easily learn multiplication tables. You have got to see this game to believe it.

It is easily the best game we have ever seen for teaching the times tables. Timez Attack is as high-tech and entertaining as any of the best video games. It is engaging, fun, and highly effective.”

Have a look at their website here. Despite the maths being plonked into the game in quite an obvious way I think this works for its target market. The gameplay replicates many 1st person adventure pc games and motivates and engages the player making them want to play more. Not much notice is given to the maths while playing as the main goals of the player are to find keys to open doors and explore the worlds. The maths is put to the sidelines in the players’ minds as the graphics are so immersive, kind of like a clean Doom.

Author: Alexandra Matthews, Gaming & Learning, 10th March 2008

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Entry filed under: DGBL, Games, ICT, Innovation, Learning, Pedagogy. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Brett S. Taylor  |  March 10, 2008 at 6:17 pm

    Thanks for the links. If I can get them unblocked by WebSense at my school I will use them.

    Brett

    Reply

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About

The purpose of this blog is to provide insight into the impact of computer games and pop culture, and effective ways of incorporating the positive surplus into learning experiences.

Please feel free to add comments and email me with any queries. I am also interested in relevant project collaboration.

Name: Alexandra Matthews
Location: UK

Email: info@gamingandlearning.co.uk / alex@gamingandlearning.co.uk

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