Computer games are here to stay. There’s no denying it. There is something extremely compelling about video games, especially for today’s kids. Some games are not appropriate for kids, and it is right to be nervous about them. However, some games can be useful reinforcement tools for your lessons. If you can find a fun way to reinforce skills in math, reading, typing, or science, maybe you should reinforce them.
ABCya (abcya.com) is a website containing dozens of games written by frustrated schoolteachers who could not find quality educational games easily and couldn’t afford the few quality games they found. The games are available for free on the website and are grouped by age level and topic. The site does feature Google ad-word advertising, but the ads are small and unobtrusive and are mainly visible on the home page. Each game page hosts an ad, but I didn’t see anything objectionable as I used the site.
Although the quality of the games varies, they are all well made, and most are quite entertaining. They were created with the public school audience in mind, so there are a few themes (there’s a Halloween game in the K–1 section) you’ll want to be alert to. All the games use Flash technology, so they’ll work fine on any reasonably modern computer. They should play on Android devices (although many games rely on the keyboard) but sadly will not work on iPhones or iPads. A few of the more popular games have been converted to apps and are available for 99 cents each. (more…)