The Best Coding Games for Kids


Best Coding Games For Kids

In this age, where our society heavily relies on technology, coding has become an essential piece of employment qualifications. And if you wish your children to have a successful career, then it is best to give it a quick running start.

Coding for children does not merely help improve their writing and mathematical skills because it also supplies them crucial abilities in life and, ultimately, in the workforce.

Why should we become aware of the significance of coding in our kids? There are several reasons for it, but the most crucial factor for that is, if they know how to code at a younger age, it significantly increases their chances of getting their dream job in the future.

Why is coding a vital skill to learn?

Knowing the basics of programming is a vital skill not only for adults but for children as well. Specifically, for the young ones, learning the fundamentals of coding in the early stages of life provides a massive benefit. 

One advantage of this skill is that when students are capable of creating simple websites and games, it will help them polish their logic, plans, and problem-solving skills. Besides, it also enables them to formulate ideas and show creativity in uncommon ways. That is why coding is indeed a useful tool for learning for children.

As we observe how the world develops, it is evident that coding is a highly essential skill to have. Why? Because there is a rising number of institutions that rely heavily on computer code, not just the sector in technology.

A student who knows how to code at an early age will possess an advantage in life. This advantage means more opportunities in employment waiting for them in the future. Regardless of which industry they will settle in, be it in the health sector, retail sector, finance sector, or others will never be a problem because our society currently revolves around technology.

So, if you have a child who spends a lot of time playing mobile games, why not incorporate coding into it? It is an excellent way for them to learn how to code while having fun at the same time. As kids expose themselves to technology, it will surely help them become a vital part of huge corporations as they grow up.

How can you teach your child to code?

This question is probably the first one an interested parent will ask. Well, many parents are as clueless when it comes to coding as the others, and that is particularly normal.

The most beneficial component of programming is that we can learn it at any period. Although the retention of various languages can be quite hard, especially for late adults, it can still turn out to be an excellent experience.

If you are going to ask about the most effective approach for your kids to learn to code, then the answer is for you to learn it with them.

You can stimulate interest in your children if they notice you doing the same.

So, if you become interested in coding and put in a little effort to learn it, chances are your children will follow.

To help you start, here are some top coding applications for kids.


Available on iOs and ANDROID

Available on iOs and ANDROID

This app is available on Google Play and the App Store. The Bee-Bot floor robot inspired this coding application, which now enables the children to learn the fundamentals of programming at various levels quickly.

The little ones who learn to code may entirely use this application to enhance not their problem-solving skills alone, but also their programming skills. Bee-Bot has 12 levels encouraging progression in total. Each level is time-bound, and the quicker you complete the stage, the more stars you acquire.

It enables children to enhance their skills in directional languages together with programming through the various sequences of backward, forward, left, and right 90-degree turns in every level. 

The progression within this game will allow students to improve their knowledge and their problem-solving abilities through encountering difficult challenges throughout the various aspects of Bee-Bot.

Daisy the Dinosaur

available on all major platforms

available on all major platforms

This application is suitable for ages 5-8 and is free to download. Daisy the Dinosaur serves as an excellent foundation for programming or to assess your child’s curiosity in the topic. Kids can program Daisy and in the process, learn some fundamental practices of programming. 

Daisy the Dinosaur has a couple of sections for your students to explore, one is the free-play mode, and the other is challenge mode. 

In the free-play mode, juniors can explore with commands to see how Daisy will move as an outcome of their program. Meanwhile, in challenge mode, kids will challenge themselves to solve a presented problem.

They need to use the given commands to finish the challenge. Apply the smooth drag and drop symbols to make Daisy the Dinosaur move. This Gaming application sets the foundation for learning the fundamentals of programming.

The content in this application is not huge, but sufficient enough for a free app. 

Code Adventures: Coding Puzzles For Kids

available on ios and android

available on ios and android

This remarkable app is ideal for ages 6 to 8 that concentrates on child-friendly computer coding puzzles.
This game features exciting puzzles while learning how to code, loveable characters, funny sounds, engaging visuals along with around 30 puzzle stages.

The main goal of this game of puzzles is to help Aurora go home by finishing the 30 stages of challenges. Also, this app works through different levels, which include the basics, functions, and repetitive control structures (conditional loops).

Students will have to set the commands into the correct order, which indicates a practice in sequencing ability. Besides, they will find the necessity to repeat the commands to help move the character around, as each movement hardly takes it one block in any direction.

The app slowly introduces different puzzle details such as ladders, movable bridges, flying platforms, and portals, which makes the programming even more enjoyable.

Children will solve tricky puzzles while learning how to code. It also grants an excellent opportunity for a family to bond together while stimulating the child’s curiosity in STEM subjects.


avaialble on ios and android

avaialble on ios and android

This coding application cuts down computer science into the fundamental thoughts that children require to build a stable foundation in life. 

Kodable gives materials that concentrate on subjects ranging from communication and social-emotional knowledge to the real influence of computer science in the world.

This application hosts lessons for coding and games for children between 5 and 10. The main objective of Kodable is to assist elementary school educators in bringing programming basics into the classroom in the form of a game. 

While Kodable is indeed useful in the classroom setting, parents can also take advantage of this app to teach coding to their kids in an engaging and entertaining method. The design of the teaching guide of this app is so excellent that even people who have no experience in coding at all can also use it.

Kodable applies the sets of principles and processes of JavaScript, which makes it an outstanding source to learn to code for beginners. 

While this app focuses on younger ages, older children can take classes regarding JavaScript too. It will lead learners through the concepts of programming using various challenges and games, such as maneuvering a labyrinth. 

Kodable is one of the best apps for coding because it also enhances vital skills such as problem-solving abilities, social-emotional learning, decision-making abilities, communication skills, and a lot more.


available on all mobile platforms and devices

available on all mobile platforms and devices

This game is a free coding application for young children.  With the help of ScratchJr, kids ages 5 to 7 can program their games and stories. While having fun, children will develop their skills in problem-solving, project designing, and will be capable of expressing themselves creatively.

Students snap together blocks to help make the characters move, sing, dance, and jump. They can also modify the characters in the app using the paint editor, add their voice, and even add their photos, which can truly develop their imagination and creativity.

Furthermore, as children learn how to design projects and solve problems while playing the game, they can also enhance their abilities in sequencing, which is an essential factor throughout life.

To Conclude

A lot of people believe that teaching students to code is almost an impossible task, and they are correct. However, if you introduce yourself in these coding apps and by recognising the benefits of coding in your children, then you would probably change your mind.

Teaching the little ones how to code will truly be advantageous for them, particularly later in life. Not only that, learning how to code at an early age would grant them a skill that they can utilize throughout their lives, but it would also prepare them for several new careers that will arise. 

This effect is a result of the rising inclination of the current generation towards technology, which makes it more reasonable for every parent to introduce coding to their kids.

ScratchJr finally brings programming for juniors to the iPad

In many new national curriculum's around the world coding is being viewed as a new form of literacy as we try to entice kids to become tech creators and not simply tech consumers.

Scratch Jr is the little brother to the very popular Scratch that was released nearly a decade ago by researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology or (MIT).  Scratch revolutionized coding for kids as it changed lines of irrelevant syntax with variable jigsaw pieces that could be manipulated by students with far more simplicity and success.

Scratch has never worked on the iPad unfortunately and there have been numerous forums discussing the potential of making it happen.

So ScratchJr is now available on the iPad and it is targeted at students aged 5 - 7 years old.  It is free.

As young children code with ScratchJr, they learn how to create and express themselves with computers, not just to interact with it. In the process, kid's learn to solve problems and design projects, and they develop sequencing skills that are foundational for later academic success. They also use math and language in a meaningful and motivating context, supporting the development of early-childhood numeracy and literacy.

ScratchJr is somewhat limited in what it can do in comparison to Scratch but then again it's also aimed at a younger audience. 

Younger students have no trouble picking up the concepts and the basic skills behind ScratchJr but you will really need to reinforce to them what they are doing with it or else it might just come off as a poor man's animation tool for the iPad.

If student understand they are in fact controlling a computer much like video game makers do they will value the process far more.

ScratchJr is available on iTunes now with Android coming soon.


101 ideas for using technology in the classroom


Sometimes it is difficult to put the technology in your classroom into an educational context.  This document contains many ideas for using a PC or mac in education.  

Unfortunately much of it was written prior to the uprise of the iPad so there is no reference to it but nonetheless there is plenty of relevant content for teachers and students. 

Many of the ideas come from the Victorian department of Education, Australia and can be downloaded here. 

Ten Great Resources for Teaching Gaming Coding

When the Guardian Teacher Network asked me to exclusively reveal a list of my top 10 resources I found it really hard to narrow my choice down to just 10.

But here it is – and if you think I have left any out then please do comment on the blog and add your suggestions or send me a message through Twitter @teknoteacher.

1. Scratch Community is a fantastic programming resource for learners of all ages. What better place to start than a site dedicated specifically to teachers who want to use Scratch to teach programming? Here you will find videos, lesson plans, worksheets, discussions and even real people to ask for help. Unfortunately the webinars (which are fantastic) are around 1.00 - 2.00 am UK time, but you can watch recordings afterwards.

2. Codecademy is the web resource that does exactly what it says on the tin. This is a good starting point to discover what computer programming (in JavaScript) can be like. Sometimes unforgiving if you get your syntax wrong (that's spelling, punctuation and grammar in computer speak). You get feedback as you progress and learners can compare their score with each other.

3. Invent With Python is a real book that teaches you step by step how to program using the Python programming language. The book is available as a hard copy to purchase, a free download or just view it online for free. The author has a friendly style of writing and explains all the code used clearly. Don't worry - no references to large snakes. 

4. Computing At School is a free-to-join association for anyone with an interest in computing in education. Sponsors include Microsoft and Google among others. Benefits of joining include free-to-attend annual conference, regional hub meetings, competitions, newsletters and teachshares. Meet up with lots of other like minded people to share and steal good practice. 

5. Twitter is another great place to hang out with like minded people who wish to promote computing science in education, try following some of these people and read what they are doing. You will find they rarely tweet about what they have had for breakfast, or what colour socks they are wearing, instead they have good quality education based tweets @largerama, @drtomcrick, @codeboom , @hubmum@batteredbluebox, @CompAtSch, @GuardianTeach oh and @teknoteacher (that's me!).

6. Code Hero is a totally new way to learn how to code. It's a first-person science shooter game where you use the code gun to manipulate code. You learn how to code in order to succeed in the game. 

7. Play My Code  is "an online platform for building, playing and distributing browser games. Powered by HTML5, you can build within the browser and embed your games anywhere." Start by simply playing the games, then make small alterations to make the games easier or more difficult to play, share your altered games with friends. Before you know it you are a games developer. 

8. The 2008 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures were given by Professor Chris Bishop on the power of computing. The videos are now available to watch on the big screen in your classroom also available as a free DVD. Suitable viewing from around age eight upwards. 

9. The National Museum of Computing and MOSI  are two great museums to explore for teachers planning to teach the development of computers. Book yourself out of school to visit as part of your CPD or take your family. Create your own videos or record interviews while you are there. 

10. iTunes contains many podcasts and academic programs (iTunesU) that you can follow. On your ipod, you can catch up with the world of computing science, technology and more while travelling in the car, bus or tube. Try some of these GuardianTechWeeklyBBC, Introduction to C# Programming.

• Alan O'Donohoe is Principal Teacher of ICT at Our Lady's High School, Preston. He has been teaching for just short of 20 years. In the Summer of 2011 he taught himself how to program with Python. He seeks to evangelise teachers to teach computing science through his blogs, tweets and audioboos. He blogs at teachcomputing and can be found on twitter at @teknoteacher.

The next Hack to the Future event is on Saturday, 12th February in Preston – the event is highly anticipated and now has a waiting list of speakers but there are spaces for more children to take part so if you are interested in taking a party of children (or even one child) then see here for more details or look at the flyer designed for children.

How games support 21st century Learning

Thanks to for this article.  A great source for info about further education.

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I recently attended the Serious Play conference in Redmond, Washington (the home of Microsoft), and one thing that stood out to me was all the talk about "21st Century skills," and how game-based learning (GBL) could help students acquire them. The problem with the 21st Century skills concept is that education may not be ready for it just yet. While the Common Core and NETS standards both address these kinds of skills to a certain extent, education does very little to actually support their development. In fact, the educational model that we currently employ often works to stifle exactly these kinds of competencies. But what are these magical 21st Century Skills? Are they really more important than the traditional core subjects, and is GBL the best way to foster these abilities in students?

21st Century Skills
The Serious Play conference provided diverse perspectives regarding what people think 21st Century skills actually are, ranging from Virtual IQ, empathy, leadership, and ethics, to collaboration, communication, innovation, entrepreneurship, global perspective, and critical thinking. One of the big problems with the game-based education movement is the lack of a clear articulation of exactly what GBL provides for students. Without a consensus on the definition of the competencies that GBL promotes, education stakeholders are unlikely to sign on to support an expensive and extensive change in the system that does not present a clear benefit over the existing model.

Initiatives such as the Common Core tend to focus on core academic subjects: reading, mathematics, science, and STEM areas rather than the broader skills that are reflected in the 21st Century toolset. Others, such as the International Society for Technology in Education’s (ISTE) NETS standards and the Partnership for 21st Century Skills fall more closely in line with the notion of 21st Century skills that was on display at Serious Play. Defining these skills in an educational context is the first step in helping to make educators realize the specific ways in which GBL supports academically focused learning outcomes.

The University of Melbourne proposes the following breakdown for considering what the essential competencies are for a student in the Information Age:

  • Ways of thinking. Creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving, decision-making and learning
  • Ways of working. Communication and collaboration
  • Tools for working. Information and communications technology (ICT) and information literacy
  • Skills for living in the world. Citizenship, life and career, and personal and social responsibility

To further clarify these somewhat abstract categories, the Partnership for 21st Century Skills provides the following diagram to illustrate the ways in which these skills integrate with a traditional curriculum:

(Partnership for 21st Century Skills)

In this graphic the colorful arch represents student outcomes and the "pools" beneath the arch represent the support systems for facilitating those outcomes. The arch is fairly clear – it represents the things that this organization and many others believe are important to 21st Century students. One area where this model diverges from the ideas surrounding GBL is in the inclusion of the traditional core subjects as an underlying support for the new competencies. The premise is that things like life skills, innovation, and technological literacy will be taught through the core subjects rather than being deliberately focused on. Again, that is starkly different from the conversation surrounding 21st Century skills that permeates the GBL community.

Those approaching learning from the game design side stop with this big picture, abstract notion of 21st Century skills, while those with an education background tend to gravitate more towards supporting traditional subjects and attempting to tack these other things on to an existing model. This is where the key conflict between GBL and established education can be seen.

More Important than Core Subjects?
We live in a world where technology allows us to compensate for almost any deficiencies in knowledge nearly as quickly as we could recall the information if we had learned it previously. While there is a certain amount of general, background knowledge needed to even be able to know where to look for new information, the concept of "knowing" something is irreversibly changing to "locating" something, and often seeking that knowledge from social sources rather than established experts. Given this dramatic shift in what it means to "know" something, it seems reasonable to think that a shift in priorities for education would be justified.

Being able to think creatively and critically, solve problems, evaluate information, be a self-directed learner, use advanced communication tools, and understand the societal rules by which the world and its information-based economy operate, are more critical skills than are knowing specific algebraic equations, the atomic weight of cobalt, or how to wire a lamp, when any of those things can be looked up online and a video can be watched to explain any process. So the answer is that yes, until the Internet crashes and we revert to some previous economic model, these vague 21st Century skills really do need to be the focus of education. The thing is that they are not really that vague at all. They are just more abstract than Shakespearean drama, or the area of a rectangle. The real trick is in figuring out how to assess that students are gaining these skills and to demonstrate that they really are critical in the Digital Age.

Can GBL Teach These Skills?
This is really the great mystery and, until there is a concrete, empirically supported answer, few educators are going to believe that games can help students learn. While the seminal piece on GBL and educational attainment has yet to be written, there are organizations such as the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, & Student Testing (CRESST) at UCLA that are doing serious research on serious games. The breakthrough is not far off, and the experts at Serious Play were optimistic that it will be coming sooner rather than later. At one point, conference organizer and serious games advocate Clark Aldrich stated that, within 3-4 years all testing will be game based, and that when that happens, education will have to follow. That bold prediction will only come true if those supporting GBL can conduct the research that supports the idea that 21st Century skills are the future of education.

Join the conversation about game-based learning and 21st Century skills on Google+ or Twitter.

20 Educational games ahead of their time.

Thanks to onlineuniversities for this article.  It is a great resource for information on further education.

While there has been a surge in the acceptance and prevalence of game-based learning in schools over the past decade, especially in light of the success of programs like Khan Academy, playing games in the classroom is nothing new. Educational games have been a commonplace part of the K-12 experience since the beginning of the 1980s (and in some places well before that), with early titles introducing students to fundamental math, history, and problem solving concepts just as games do today. While the graphics may not have been great, the games helped to engage a generation of kids with technology and laid a solid foundation for the educational games that were to come.

Things have changed a lot since then, but one thing has remained the same: the best educational games aren’t just tools for teaching. They show kids that education can be fun and instill a love of learning that will carry on throughout their lives. Here we highlight a few of those amazing early educational games. Some are still played today, others helped to inspire later educational games, but all still bring up fond memories in the students who used them to learn and play.

  1. Logo Programming (1967):

    Logo is perhaps a strange inclusion on a list full of games, as it is actually a programming language, but its early application in education and use as a fun way to teach programming and mathematical concepts earn it a solid place on any list of foundational computer programs in education. Students will primarily remember Logo through its use of a turtle-shaped icon, which could be moved and altered. Through inputting commands, essentially very basic programming codes, students could use the turtle to draw geometric shapes, from circles to stars to spirals. While Logo’s use peaked during the mid-1980s, it was nonetheless pivotal in the development of educational programs, teaching a generation of kids that programming wasn’t only accessible, it could also be fun.

  2. Lemonade Stand (1979):

    Created in 1973 and brought to the Apple II platform in 1979, Lemonade Stand is one of the oldest and most popular educational games of all time. Gameplay is deceptively simple: players run a lemonade stand, choosing the amount of ingredients to buy, how to advertise, and what to price lemonade. All of these choices, as well as uncontrollable factors like weather, play into how much profit the lemonade stand turns. Despite a basic premise, the game was actually teaching players complex lessons about business and economics and was one of the earliest to use a gaming platform to do so. Lemonade Stand, and others early economics-based games like M.U.L.E., would inspire a large number of future games including Lemonade Empire, Lemonade Tycoon, Hot Dog Stand, and even the school-inappropriate-but-still-educational Dope Wars to name a few.

  3. Snooper Troops (1982):

    Snooper Troops was one of several popular and successful educational titles released by Spinnaker Software (others included FaceMaker, Kidwriter, and The Story Machine) in the early 1980s and is comprised of two episodes: The Case of the Granite Point Ghost and The Case of the Disappearing Dolphin. Players comb the streets looking for clues, question witnesses, investigate homes while occupants are away, and use the SnoopNet computers to solve crimes. The games are fun, interesting, and boost problem solving and creative thinking skills while teaching kids how to take notes, organize information, and expand their knowledge about police work. While the series would be short-lived, the problem-solving gameplay geared towards kids would inspire many later games.

  4. Oregon Trail (1985):

    There is perhaps no more widely played or fondly remembered educational game than Oregon Trail. Originally developed for students in Minnesota during the mid-1970s, the game didn’t hit the wider market until 1985 when it was released on the Apple II. It was an instant success and has been re-released, modified, spun-off, and updated many times since then. Gameplay itself is fairly simple, asking players to successfully lead a family of settlers along the Oregon Trail, battling swollen rivers, broken axles, and the dreaded dysentery along the way. The early graphics were pretty rudimentary, but the game was among the first to show just how engaging a game with an educational context could be (the addition of a shooting element didn’t really hurt, either).

  5. Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? (1985):

    Game developer Gary Carlston, a founder of Broderbund, wanted to make geography fun for learners, so he spearheaded this early educational project. To say it was successful would be an understatement, as it spawned numerous sequels (players could track Carmen through the U.S., Europe, and even time) and a game show in the early 1990s. Play involved chasing down a master thief, the eponymous Carmen Sandiego, around the world and answering geography questions correctly in order to retrieve objects and foil her plans. Its success was not only in its popularity: it also proved that games were the ideal medium for making just about any educational topic, even those that didn’t usually get kids excited about, fun and engaging.

  6. Odell Lake (1986):

    Odell Lake was an early simulation game that challenged players to take on the identity of one of six species of fish living in Odell Lake, a real lake in Oregon. The object? Keep your fish alive by avoiding predators, eating food, and exploring the lake. Smart choices would earn you points, poor ones would take them away or end the game. MECC, the developer also responsible for Oregon Trail, would later release Odell Down Under, which expanded the concept to the Great Barrier Reef. Teaching kids about ecosystems and wildlife, Odell Lake was one of the first science-focused educational games on the market.

  7. Reader Rabbit (1986):

    Reader Rabbit is among the most influential and successful educational games of all time. Beginning with the release of the original Reader Rabbit in 1986, the game has taught scores of toddlers and young students how to read and spell through simple but fun mini-games. Over the years, The Learning Company has added many more titles to the Reader Rabbit series (branching out to math and higher grade levels), which continue to be popular educational titles in homes and schools today. Reader Rabbit was one of the first educational gaming brands to become a household name and with a new title for the Nintendo Wii announced in 2011, it remains a powerful force in the edutainment market today.

  8. Number Munchers (1987):

    As it turns out, munching numbers is a whole lot more fun that just doing problems out of a math book, even if the educational outcome is the same. In this popular game, students must "munch" all of the numbers that fit into a specific category. A correct answer yields a fun cut-screen. An incorrect one means getting eaten by a monster (called Troggles in the game). Popular during the 1980s and ’90s, the game was another major success for the Minnesota Educational Computing Consortium and would later evolve into Math Munchers in the mid-’90s, a title that’s still available today. Number Munchers was among the first to transform basic math problem solving into something students actually look forward to doing, a hallmark of many educational games today.

  9. Math Blaster (1987):

    Just as munching added a fun element to math lessons, so did blasting. In fact, this popular concept yielded numerous later iterations, allowing students to blast everything from algebra to reading. Like Number Munchers, Math Blaster helped turn boring math exercises into something students could look forward to, helping change the educational gaming scene for the better. The Blaster series of games was incredibly successful and it’s easy to find variations on the theme today that cover a wide range of topics and grade levels.

  10. GeoSafari (1987):

    Unlike other titles on this list, GeoSafari isn’t a video game but a standalone system for educational gaming. The system consisted of laminated cards with varying themes like history, zoology, astronomy, math, and geology and a machine into which they were loaded. Students answered questions on the card by matching up the correct answer. Variations of the system existed through the 1990s and the system was quite successful despite the high price tag. While GeoSafari is no longer made, it inspired a number of educational toys that are similar in nature, though considerably more advanced, like the LeapFrog system.

  11. SimCity (1989):

    SimCity was the brainchild of legendary game designer Will Wright and was the first of many successful games to be released by the Maxis software company. Players take on the role of the mayor of an imaginary city (or a real one), managing the day-to-day affairs of planning, spending, and allocating resources. Natural disasters, revolting citizens, and unexpected obstacles kept the game challenging, helping players build serious problem solving skills in the process. The recipient of numerous awards, SimCity proved that games didn’t need to be winnable to be both fun and educational. Today, there are dozens of Sim titles that players can choose from and countless games inspired by the open-ended gameplay pioneered by the game.

  12. Scholastic’s Microzine Series (1990):

    It’s hard to find information about Schoolastic’s early education series Microzine, but many will remember playing the games that it produced. Microzine was an innovative product in the educational gaming world, as it was a subscription service. Five times a year, subscribers would get four educational programs and a printed manual with ideas on how to use those programs to teach selected topics. At the time, there was nothing like it on the market, and it produced numerous educational titles, including memorable games like Myths of Olympus, Escape from Antcatraz, Quest for the Pole, and Safari. There would eventually be over 40 issues of Microzine, providing an amazing number of early educational titles to schools and young learners all over the nation.

  13. Treasure Mountain! (1990):

    Treasure Mountain! is part of The Learning Company’s incredibly successful Super Solvers series. Gameplay is pretty simple, as players climb a mountain, answering riddles, finding clues, and collecting treasures along the way. Puzzles focus on reading, critical thinking, and math. While somewhat repetitive, the game is incredibly addictive. The structure of Treasure Mountain! is very similar to a number of educational games and platforms today, which reward students with different levels and encourage them to collect items to advance.

  14. Gizmos & Gadgets (1993):

    Another great Super Solvers title is Gizmos & Gadgets. Using simple machines, magnets, basic electronics, and energy sources, the game deftly introduces students to fundamental concepts in physics. Players must build machines that will enable them to win races in three categories: automotive, alternative energy, and aircraft. Yet to get the parts to build these machines players must use physics and science knowledge to navigate obstacles and open doors. Gizmos & Gadgets is an outstanding educational title because it’s so entertaining and maintains such a video-game like feel that kids likely won’t even notice they’re learning, too.

  15. LOOM


    One of the earliest games released by iconic game developer LucasFilm Games (now known as LucasArts), LOOM wasn’t necessarily intended to be an educational game. Yet the problem solving and musical memorization skills used to navigate the game’s protagonist Bobbin Threadbare through the fantasy world he inhabits certainly didn’t hurt developing minds to exercise. The game also boasts a rich, young adult literature-worthy plot, including a 30 minute audio drama that draws on Greek mythology to set up the game. LOOM and the many high-quality adventure games from LucasArts that would follow would set the bar for puzzle games, many of which still challenge young gamers today.

  16. Lemmings


    Lemmings is another seminal title that wasn’t really intended to be educational but is actually a great tool for teaching kids about planning, problem solving, and creative thinking. The first version of the now famous game was released in 1991, becoming an instant success and one of the best selling computer games of its time. To advance, players must successfully guide a group of lemmings through a danger-filled setting using selected skills that alter the landscape. It isn’t always easy, and the challenge often keeps players trying for hours to get it right. While the original came out more than 20 years ago, versions of the game were released as recently as 2010.

  17. The Amazon Trail (1993):

    With the success of the Oregon Trail came a number of other spin-off "trail" based games, but among the best was The Amazon Trail. To play, students would choose a guide and then venture down the Amazon in a boat. To make it more challenging, players had to actually steer the boat, fish for food, photograph wildlife, and complete other tasks along the way. As a result, it’s significantly more difficult than its predecessor but also offers a much more in-depth exploration of the culture, history, and wildlife of the time than Oregon Trail.

  18. Museum Madness (1994):

    Players navigate through Museum Madness as a high school student who is trying to save the museum from a computer virus that’s causing the displays to come to life. As they visit each exhibit, players learn new facts and information about a wide range of educational topics, including history, geology, evolution, space, and technology. They then have to use that information to solve problems and, hopefully, save the museum. The game draws inspiration from Milan Trenc’s famous book The Night at the Museum, blending literature with innovative gameplay and education.

  19. Ready Robot Club (1994):

    Following in the footsteps of Schoolastic, Ready Robot was a monthly subscription service. Each month, lucky kids would get a disk loaded with fun games and educational content. Digital music, memory games, science experiments, space updates, math exercises, and information about historical figures would accompany each issue. The service only lasted one year, but Ready Robot was an early precursor for many of the educational websites that exist today, offering new games and content on a regular basis.

  20. Storybook Weaver (1994):

    What kid hasn’t wanted to write his or her own book at some point? This game allowed students to do just that. Combining clip art and a text editor, youngsters could "weave" their own tales about whatever they wanted, creating their own creative illustrations and storylines. It’s not technically a game, but it was fun enough that it may well have been. Storybook Weaver was re-released in 2004, meaning many may still be able to run it on their computers today, introducing a whole new generation to this fun, language-learning creative tool.

50 Cool Videos for Gaming Teachers

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Gaming in education is a really big deal, and a very fun way to get students more involved and interested in education. Board games, video games, even active outdoor games all have an important place in education, and these videos share more about their role in learning. Check out our list of 50 awesome videos for gaming teachers to discover what experts, teachers, and even students have to say about using games for education.

  1. Gabe Zichermann: How games make kids smarter:

    Check out Gabe Zichermann’s TED talk to find out how video games can actually make kids smarter and better problem solvers.

  2. Johnny Lee demos Wii Remote hacks:

    Check out this video to see how you can turn a cheap Wii Remote into a sophisticated educational tool.

  3. Professor Henry Jenkins on games-based learning at SxSWi 2009:

    MIT professor Henry Jenkins discusses why he thinks games are great learning tools in this video from SxSWi 2009.

  4. Game-based Learning:

    This video offers an excellent introduction into the idea of game-based learning, exploring how digital games can share enriched learning experiences.

  5. Games and Education Scholar James Paul Gee on Video Games, Learning, and Literacy:

    Learn about game learning from expert James Paul Gee, who explains the idea of situated and embodied learning, and how to helps students learn about problem solving.

  6. Katie Salen on Game Design and Learning:

    Quest2Learn’s Katie Salen explains the philosophy of using game design for learning in the classroom in this video.

  7. John Hunter: Teaching with the World Peace Game:

    John Hunter explains how he puts all of the world’s problems on a plywood board and uses the "World Peace Game" to encourage his 4th graders to solve them all, engaging them in learning and teaching complex lessons.

  8. Game for Good Design Camp:

    Gaming in education comes full circle in this video from Generation Cures Game for Good Design Camp. Students learn about science, technology, engineering, and math while they design video games that help others learn.

  9. Immersive learning: it’s game on!:

    Find out how immersive gaming environments can be useful for students and educators.

  10. Stuart Brown: Play is more than fun:

    Dr. Stuart Brown discusses his research on play, explaining that gaming and play are important to healthy childhood development into adulthood.

  11. What is Game Based Learning:

    Check out this video to find a brief introduction to game-based learning.

  12. Game On! How Playful Learning Works:

    MIT’s video explains how playful learning works in an anywhere/everywhere state of play.

  13. Teaching with Games: GLPC Case Study: Joel:

    This video case study explores Joel Levin’s work as a school technology integrator, following him as he shares MinecraftEDU with second graders in New York City.

  14. Game-Based Learning:

    This video explains the application of game-based learning with video presentation and resources.

  15. Classroom Game Design: Paul Andersen at TEDxBozeman:

    Paul Andersen’s classroom is a video game, and you can learn how he puts video games to work in AP biology.

  16. Video Games and the Future of Learning:

    Jan Plass and Bruce Horner lecture in this video, explaining the research and science behind video games and their future in education.

  17. Game Based Learning in Special Education:

    Andre Chercka discusses his experience with game-based learning and how it can be applied to special education in this talk.

  18. Steve Keil: A manifesto for play, for Bulgaria and beyond:

    View this talk to find out why Bulgarian Steve Keil thinks play is so important to education and society, and how we can reinvent learning to better share a sense of play.

  19. Mission Impossible Physical Education Game:

    Check out this fun physical education game to see how kids can come together to think critically and work as a team.

  20. The Gaming of Education:

    In this video, you’ll see how gaming can help kids learn and engage more deeply, and enjoy "The Great Brain Debate" as experts question whether gaming in education negatively contributes to digital information overload.

  21. Brenda Brathwaite: Gaming for understanding:

    Game designer Brenda Brathwaite discusses how she created a game to help her daughter better understand the concept of slavery.

  22. EdmodoCon 2011: Game Based Learning:

    Watch this video to see how high school teacher Hyle Daley integrates educational gaming into curriculum.

  23. Integrating Games-based Learning: A Conversation with Tim Rylands:

    In this video, you’ll learn how to integrate games-based learning in your classroom.

  24. Tim Brown: Tales of creativity and play:

    Designer Tim Brown explains how important play is to creative thinking, offering great ideas for bringing play into our lives and classrooms.

  25. Teaching with Games: GLPC Case Study: Lisa:

    Check out this video with 4th grade teacher Lisa Parisi as she uses freely available games from BrainPOP and Manga High to challenge them in math and science content.

  26. Jane McGonigal: Gaming can make a better world:

    Jane McGonigal’s talk explains how we can harness the power of gaming to solve real-world problems.

  27. Nolan Bushnell Talks About Making Learning a Game:

    View this video from Atari founder Nolan Bushnell as he talks about changing the way kids learn in and out of school with gaming.

  28. Game-based learning: what do e-learning designers need to know?:

    What makes educational games different? This video takes a look at what e-learning designers have to do differently when it comes to learning games.

  29. Dawn Hallybone, Teacher, Learning Without Frontiers, London:

    In this video, British teacher Dawn Hallybone shares her strategies for bringing commercial video game technology to learning in order to motivate her students and improve educational outcomes.

  30. Sir Ken Robinson: Bring on the learning revolution!:

    Sir Ken Robinson shares his ideas for a radical shift in learning, bringing personalization and creativity to education, and allowing kids’ natural talents to grow.

  31. Games and Learning in the Classroom with Teacher Prantika Das:

    Follow this Microsoft Most Innovative Teachers Forum winner as she explains how she uses games to stimulate learning in her classroom.

  32. Net Gen Ed: Game-based Learning:

    This video from Net Gen Ed explains the fundamentals of game-based learning and how to use games for educational purposes.

  33. A Vision for 21st Century Learning:

    Check out this presentation on game based learning to better understand the ideas behind immersive learning environments.

  34. Ali Carr-Chellman: Gaming to re-engage boys in learning:

    How do you get boys interested in learning? Encourage them to play video games. Ali Carr-Chellman’s talk explains a great plan to engage boys in the classroom by bringing video games in.

  35. Gaming in Libraries Class:

    See what Paul Waelchli has to say about teaching through game learning in this Gaming in Libraries course.

  36. Ian Bogost on Serious Games:

    Get gaming expert Ian Bogost view on what serious games can do for education and beyond.

  37. School Mods: Gaming the Education System:

    Jonathan Schneker’s talk is all about how video games can actually help us learn.

  38. Education & business find uses for Serious Games:

    This piece from Euronews explains how computer games are breaking beyond entertainment and moving into the education and business world.

  39. Game based Learning-How computer games and their design can be used in schools:

    Watch this video from the Festival of Education explaining why computer games are an essential part of 21st century curriculum.

  40. James Paul Gee on Learning with Video Games:

    Gaming expert James Paul Gee shares his insight into why video games make great learning tools.

  41. Tom Chatfield: 7 ways games reward the brain:

    Watch Tom Chatfield’s TED talk to find out how games engage and reward our brains to keep us going for more.

  42. Consolarium on BBC News: Gaming in Education:

    Scottish educators explain how the Nintendo DS is making a difference in engagement and educational attainment for Scottish students.

  43. Dr. Paul Howard-Jones – Neuroscience, Games & Learning:

    Dr. Paul Howard-Jones discusses the science of game-based learning as he explains how gaming engages the brain in education.

  44. Welcome to the Digital Generation:

    This series of videos from Edutopia explains great ideas for teaching today’s digital generation.

  45. The Money Game:

    In this financial education game, students learn basic money management and wealth creation principles, making personal finance education fun and easy.

  46. Brenda Laurel:

    Brenda Laurel’s talk on games for girls offers interesting ideas for getting female students more engaged in game learning.

  47. Game-Based Learning in Higher Education:

    Game-based learning isn’t just for kids. Watch this talk from the USC Center for Excellence in Teaching to find out why and how game-based learning can be used for higher education.

  48. James Paul Gee on Grading with Games:

    Game-based learning expert James Paul Gee explains how kids can learn, and be graded, with games.

  49. Teaching with Games: GLPC Video Case Study: Steve:

    Technology instructor Steve Isaacs discusses how he uses video game design and development in 7th grade curriculum, developing 21st century skills and helping to motivate students.

  50. Douglas Thomas on Video Game Learning: Interacting with Media:

    Watch this video from the MacArthur Foundation to find out how video games can serve as powerful learning tools for students.