Let’s try to take control of the situation and extract benefits from gadget mania – for example, educational. In the article, we will talk about useful games and programs.
Good or evil?
Doctors and psychologists warn parents: computer technology should be strictly dosed, especially in the pre-speech period of the child. The digital environment gives a distorted view of the world, deprives the child of real communication, and leads to a delay in emotional development — this is the price that the new digital generation pays for access to fast entertainment. For example, there are dramatic videos on the web with kids who are trying to “enlarge the image” on an ordinary newspaper or in a family photo album with the usual movement of their fingers. Later on in life, these kids may face difficulties at College and will need to buy term paper online.
Do I need to ban gadgets for my child?
The study showed that, contrary to common stereotypes, many professional psychologists agree that mobile games and educational applications are useful for children, especially if they are of a developing, interactive nature.
On the other hand, the virtual world is a new reality, a new layer of human culture. Children should learn how to handle this reality correctly. In addition, you can extract serious benefits from gaming, primarily for training. The main thing at the same time is to find interesting activities in the “dense reality” so that the ordinary world does not seem to children a dreary place from which they want to escape into a computer game.
Many computer puzzles, quests, and strategies have a huge developmental potential. In terms of efficiency, they can compete with traditional chess or special apps for the development of logic and memory. Computer games give children an idea of different areas of human activity, teach system thinking and planning, teamwork, and competent communication. And if the child is playing, then let it be a good thing!
Logic, engineering, programming
There are many games and applications for the development of engineering thinking, ranging from the simplest cubes and pyramids to the most complex programmable constructors. The skills that such games develop will be useful not only to future technicians and programmers but also to almost any professional. Here are some resources with “programming” and engineering games.
Code.org – a non-profit educational project for children, there are a lot of games about the basic principles of programming languages.
Lightbot.com – flash game with nice graphics and simple educational material: the child builds algorithms for robot movement, thinks through the scenario and step-by-step debugs the behavior of the character. All this forms the child’s understanding of the main basics of programmable interactive interaction.
Space, astronomy, engineering
Please note, the space industry is coming to life in front of us. Shortly, we will see new flights to the Moon, the development of commercial rocket science, the launch and return to Earth of rockets and satellites. No wonder astronomy was returned to the school curriculum! So let’s play space.
Universe Sandbox: The Universe Sandbox astronomical app, developed with the participation of NASA, shows perfectly visualized models of star systems and galaxies. You can collide two planets or put a star cluster next to a black hole and see what happens. Simulate space objects, observe the work of gravity, study the evolution of stars.
Redshift: In this game you will become a spaceship pilot, you will approach planets and satellites, see their surface, and explore the entire Solar System. And with the help of the application, you can watch events directly overhead and see the largest astronomical events of the past and future: the fall of meteorites, the movement of star streams, and solar eclipses.
To understand physics, you need to see a lot of physical experiments, observe the movement and interaction of bodies, and set up experiments. Many apps help to do this in virtual.
Crayonphysics.com: a real recognized masterpiece. This game is simple and is a simulator of the ”physical behavior” of objects in the world. Imagine that your mouse is a pencil and you can draw anything. To solve a mechanical problem, the child will draw figures, ladders, bridges, ropes. Will drop stones on objects to set them in motion.
Snapshots of the Universe is an amazing iOS app released by scientist Stephen Hawking. With its help, you will conduct physical experiments that will illustrate the basic laws of physics and the principles governing our universe.
Chemistry, Biology, evolution
Another important trend of the future is biotechnology, which is closely related to chemistry and the basic principles of evolution. To understand these ideas and just not get lost in the world of biological 3D printers and living artificial tissues, prepare children in advance.
Elements Quiz is an application for studying chemical elements in the periodic table in a simple playful way. During the search process, the child gradually remembers the name of the element, its symbol, and its place on the table. For the most curious, the game has contests and a link to Wikipedia, which allows you to get more information about the elements.
Leafsnap is an application that will appeal to nerd children (literally) who want to know the names of a variety of trees, bushes, and grasses. To understand which plant is in front of you, take a picture of its leaf. After that, the application will launch the recognition algorithm and, together with the supposed name of the “carrier” of the leaf, will give out a bunch of information about the plant – with pictures. By the way, every new photo uploaded to the app helps scientists in their research.
My Incredible Body is an exciting children’s app for traveling around the human body in 3D format. You can “ride” through the vessels, look at the transmission of signals in the brain, the movement of food through the esophagus. You can stop anywhere and look around, magnifying images, studying the structure of organs and tissues and their principles of operation, watching videos about breathing, hearing aids, and the work of the heart… Children will learn how the bones of the skull are attached or where the name of the iris came from – and much more.
We study the humanitarian sphere not only from books and museums. The main acquaintance with the history and development of culture takes place through cinema, fiction, theater while traveling – and computer games!
Ceazar is an excellent well-deserved game about Ancient Rome. The child learns what the inhabitants of the provinces grew in the fields (and how they lived in different provinces), how the iron or ceramic production cycle works, how the economy works, why it is necessary to build baths and hospitals in cities.
Civilization is an addictive strategy. Here you, no less, will build your civilization among others. From primitive settlements, epoch after epoch, you will live to the nuclear era. You will negotiate with your neighbors, understand the impact of climate and technology on society. And also – you will learn the main features of different cultures because the game is based on real historical events and characters.
Practice shows that “gadget education” can captivate children. In their free time, they go not only to the site with their favorite stupid game, but also to Wikipedia to read about medieval weapons, or to YouTube to watch chemical experiments from top presenters. Just help your son or daughter to start learning using a smartphone or laptop, and then the ability to learn with pleasure, “playfully” – will make the child successful.