I have a hard time deciding between administrative software and educational games as the software that would benefit students most. In an elementary setting, I have a responsibility to make sure my students can navigate and use all types of administrative software. They will learn to create and edit word processing documents, manipulate data in spreadsheets to create charts and graphs as well as put together PowerPoint or Google Slide presentations. These are great ways to incorporate creativity from students as well as introduce extensions like Pear Deck and Kami. Students learn to use Google Classroom to communicate with fellow students and teachers as well as turn in and organize assignments. In today’s digital world, these are all invaluable skills that will serve as a strong base for their academic and professional careers.
I also find a great deal of “bang for my buck” from academic games. Students today have a much harder time reading, writing, and working problems with paper and pencil for long periods of time compared to students ten years ago. Academic games give students the opportunity to practice skills but have fun doing it. We live in a gaming / technology society and being able to mix in periodic “game breaks” makes the students forget they are still working math problems or manipulating language. Another benefit to a lot of the gaming software today is that the teacher can assign whole class or individual skills and students can choose the game that interests them. An added bonus is that the teacher can get feedback and track growth from these games
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