Let’s face it—not many kids are interested in reciting their multiplication tables or practicing addition when they’ve got video games to play, TV to watch, and technology to explore.
Unfortunately, too many parents and educators automatically assume that video games are mere time wasters, as mentioned in our earlier discussion about game-based learning.
Of course, sorting out the effective math games from the mediocre ones can be a challenge. Not every game is equal when it comes to producing lasting learning. So, what to do?
Consult Other Educators
Teachers live in a busy world filled with lesson plans, reports, parent-teacher conferences, professional development days, and meetings.
And then there’s the actual teaching.
No wonder educators rely on other educators for curriculum ideas!
For example, maybe you heard a colleague in a nearby district rave over a particular math video game that’s easy to implement and use.
Students love the program, which means they stay motivated. More importantly, their comprehension and math scores improve measurably over time. Teachers can even predict time to completion.
Ding! It’s a no brainer; if the program works for that nearby school district, it will probably work for yours.
Check the Research
If you don’t know much beyond the fact that your colleague likes the program, it pays to do a little research. Has the software been studied? Gather a little data on student learning outcomes before you go further.
Each time educators look into programs such as Timez Attack (a Big Brainz/Imagine Learning program for math fluency), they naturally want to know what its success has been over time.
To address learning outcomes, Imagine Learning regularly provides data gathered from previous trials.
Using the Big Brainz video game as an example, data show 95 percent of students become fluent in grade-level math skills after a short time on the program.
Once teachers also see average test scores increase by up to 65 percent, they’ll feel more convinced of the program’s educational merit.
Pilot the Program
So the game produces good results in the next school district over. How will it work for yours?
Time to pilot the program with a class or two. If you get good results for your money, you’ll naturally want to expand use across the school and/or district.
Remember–not all math video games are created equal. But through patient efforts, you can see math-fact success in your students–all thanks to your investing in a quality program with a proven outcome.
Learn more about all Imagine Learning programs on our home page. And return to our blog regularly for the latest discussions on educational topics.