Kaylene’s blog got me thinking about the supposed benefits of the Dragon Box 12+ game. I personally thought it was a rubbish game. I knew it was a mathematics game, but until I read Kaylene’s blog, and subsequently checked out the games pedagogy, I had no idea what it was ‘teaching me’.
Creators of educational games need to tread carefully . . . games can’t be too ‘educational’ at the cost of entertainment, in case it turns the children off the game, but nor can the objective of the game be so hidden, that it can’t be identified. Children don’t care if they are learning through the game if it’s still fun and engaging!
My 5 year old son has recently been exposed to Reading Eggs through his school. He loves it, as does his 3 year old sister! Both their knowledge of letters is coming on in leaps and bounds. I know it’s a game directed at younger children, but I feel that it is much more successful.
Another brilliant game, that I have personally seen in action in schools during prac, is Sumdog. The students loved it, and it was so engaging that the students didn’t care whether it was educational or not! These are the types of games that children need to be exposed to.
Dragon Box did not explain what the game was, how it is connected to algebra or what the equations meant. I didn’t even understand them! And that’s coming from a student who is finally starting to enjoy Maths and did quite well in her last university maths course. So what’s the benefit?