Sunday, June 24, 2012

iPad Gaming And Educational Applications As A Tool For Learning


Video of trailer to realMyst game.



Before I go into the various iPad applications...
I think I should first put forth how I think video games (apps included)
can be a good thing.


I've linked an earlier article on the value of video games here:



And just in case you are worried about children learning the wrong things
through "violence in video games" (justified violence as opposed to unjustified):





Now...
I may proceed.

First of all...
I will be listing some of Alex's favorite iPad applications.

He has the iPad 3...
and I have the iPad 2
(yes, I also play games).


Most of the applications are free...
and the others are very reasonably priced.

There are so many very good applications out there.

Alex has used many of the educational apps to help him study certain subjects.


First... I will show some of his recent educational applications.





This is Alex's usual spot on the sofa.

After his studies...he likes to relax with his iPad in this spot.

Here Alex is studying SAT vocabulary.



 As he was preparing for the SATs...
he had a lot of SAT preparation apps.

The whole idea is to find the best applications for your child's needs.

Alex likes learning the basics of subjects he will learn in the future, such as Chemistry...
and about subjects he is currently learning, such as Biology.

He likes applications on Mathematical Theory...
as well as exploring new topics such as Medical Terminology.  

He also had an application for foreign language...
but as his focus is on other things right now...
he hasn't re-downloaded it to his new iPad 3.


Now...
on to the games.


In general, Alex likes games involving resource management in order 
to build a village, or a structure, in an efficient manner.



Mine Craft

He also likes games where you just build structures.


The following three are just some examples of resource management games.

The whole object of the game is to extract enough of the resources...
and to spend it strategically in order to effect a positive change...
mostly through growth of a village or tower.


This is one of the 5 Virtual Villager games available.

Although you may play for free...
it will take you a long time to complete without exercising the option to pay a one time 
(small) fee for the potential of four times the number of villagers.

Although this is resource management...
it is also survival of the group...
as you must maintain their health by finding ways to feed, house, cure illness...
research new technology...etc...in order to grow the village.

There are numerous puzzles you have to solve in order to achieve the desired results.
The puzzles get more challenging with each successive game in the series.

The villagers also breed (chaste), grow, and die.



This game is called Enchanted Realm.

It is more strictly a resource gathering and management game.
You must grow your village and meet certain criteria in order to 
build your buildings.

Like all the resource management games...
it teaches prioritization of expenditure.




This is Vegas Towers.

Another resource management game.
You build shops and residences in order to collect cash...
in order to build and fill new floors.

It teaches economical expenditure of the resources.


The following is a text based game where quests must be completed
and on-line battles must be fought in order to collect cash to spend on 
extra health, offensive and defensive capabilities, and objects to achieve
more cash with time.


This is called School Of Magic 3.

Alex likes this game as you must compete against other on-line players...
as well as try to establish strategic alliances to give a defensive and offensive edge.

These are just some of the many available iPad games 
which teaches young children how to prioritize and manage resources
to meet set objectives.



This last game is one of advanced puzzles set in a fantastic world of technology.

It is in first person perspective and it is open ended...
as well as being environmentally interactive.

You may roam about freely...
although you may not be allowed free access until certain objectives are met.

If you are to have but one game for your child...this is the one to have.


This is called realMyst (optimized for iPad).

Although it is an older game...
the graphics and sound are still top notch.

It incorporates many of the previous ideas of the PC games of the MYST series.

Although this is a picture of an inside area...
there is a lot of outside travel to many different islands and ages...
as well as free roaming from structure to structure on the islands.

It is rich in graphic detail as well as being rich aurally.  

It will strain a child's (and many a parent's) critical reasoning capabilities.

You must see logical connections among many switches and puzzles 
and what they would reasonably affect in other areas of the game.

For instance...
 you will find yourself going down a lighthouse staircase 
to find nothing but a wooden trunk.

Upon close examination...
it is not only locked...
but it has a petcock which you must turn to release water from the trunk...
and then it must be re-closed.

At the top of the staircase is a locked hatch...
and on the walkway is a key attached to a chain which is too short to reach the hatch lock.

Through further exploration of the island... 
you discover switches which control pumps...
which control water into certain buildings.

By operating the buttons in a certain manner...
the lighthouse will become flooded...
thereby raising the wooden trunk
 (which only floats because you had initially drained it and had re-closed 
the valve so it would not re-flood the trunk...allowing it to float).

It floats up to the level of the chained key...
which opens the trunk...
which has the key to the above hatch...
which allows you access to a generator...
which lights up another area for exploration.

This type of implied reasoning is played out over and over.

There are numerous clues...
if you not only observe...
but listen...as some of the clues are audible only.

If you have a young child...
this is a game where a parent and child may work together as a team...
where the parent may question the child as to what he thinks 
the next reasonable action would be...and why.

This game involves very close observation, reasoning, and forethought.

It only costs about $6.00 or so.

It is well worth the money.

As you can see...
this type of game is not only very engrossing...
it is, in fact, educational...
the type of education which is the most valuable to a growing child...
applied reasoning.

The iPad is a great tool for learning...
as well as for relaxing.

It is easily portable...
and with the 3 or 4 g model (a must have option)...
it is the perfect in the car stress reliever.

It relieves the child of the stress of boredom...
and the driver of the stress of the child's reaction to boredom  :)




5 comments:

  1. I am not much of a gamer myself. When I have tried to play games like the last one you described, I did not have the patience to solve all the clues. But I may try some of them with my son to see if he is able to do it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes, it makes a perfect long term project. Just a little bit very so often...not enough to get frustrated...but enough to mull over...to try new angles of attack. There is also the option of getting clues off the internet...and then leading your son to solve it through directed questions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for this list (including the visuals)! It is clear that your carefully selected games are beneficial and engaging. My son will love trying some of your suggestions!

      Delete
  3. Thank you for this impressive list! I am sure that my son will enjoy trying some of your suggestions!

    ReplyDelete
  4. My son loves relaxing after dinner, on the sofa, to play some of these games. These were just some of the few very beneficial games out there. I am sure your son will enjoy these.

    ReplyDelete

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