I’ve been posting annual lists of the The Best Online Learning Games for a number of years.
I thought it would be useful for readers, my students, and me to review them all and identify my choices for the “all-time” best ones.
I’ve begun creating a number of these “All-Time” Best list, with The “All-Time” Best Ways To Create Online Content Easily & Quickly being the first ; The “All-Time” Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education second; and The “All-Time” Best Videos For Educators third.
Look for quite a few more “All-Time” Best lists over the next couple of months.
There are over 1,200 Best lists now that are categorized and updated regularly. You can see them all here.
Here are my choices for The “All-Time” Best Online Learning Games (let me know which ones I’m missing — I’ll also be adding to this list after I do a complete review of games I’ve published on this blog. Also, these are not listed in any order of preference):
Mission US, which is funded by the Corporation For Public Broadcasting and the National Endowment For The Humanities, has three great U.S. History-related “Choose Your Own Adventure” games.
Zondle is a pretty darn impressive for online learning games. It has tons of content in different subjects, and, if you can’t find what you need, it’s easy to just add your own. The ingenious part is that once you pick the topic you study, you have the option of studying the info in forty different games! Plus, teachers can create their own virtual classroom and track student progress. And, it’s free.
VocabularySpelling City is already on several of my “The Best…” lists for learning games. Its title speaks for itself.
Jeopardy Labs lets teachers and students create their own online games of Jeopardy. No registration is required, and each game has its own unique url address. Most other apps to create Jeopardy games require a software download, which makes Jeopardy Labs really stand-out since none is required.
Headline Clues from Michigan State University is a great idea that can be adapted for using in the classroom with paper and pen. In the game, you’re shown the lead paragraph, but letters from two words in the headline are missing. Players have to use clues in the first paragraph to identify what the missing words should be. As you play the online version, you can ask for clues. One of the great things about using this game in the classroom is that students can create their own and have classmates trying to figure out the answers, as well as giving them clues if needed.
Mia Cadaver’s Tombstone Timeout is a BBC game that asks questions related to Math, Science and English, and you can choose which subject you want to use. The Math and Science sections are divided into levels of difficulty. That makes it more accessible to a larger number of students. In “Mia Cadaver” you can create a private “virtual room” where only your students compete against each other. Everybody just types in the name you’ve given the room, and the questions begin. After each question is answered the screen shows the overall ranking of everybody in the room. Students love it!
Gut Instinct is very similar to Mia Cadaver’s game.
What 2 Learn has a variety of templates, and a fairly easy process, that teachers and students can use to create and play learning games.
Questionaut is an online video game from the BBC where players have to answer questions related to English, Science and Math. As you answer the questions correctly, a little “questionaut” in a balloon gets to continue on his journey.
Two older music games by the same creator — Luke Whittaker are personal favorites. One is called Sound Factory and the other is A Break In The Road. I’m not going to even going to try to describe these wonderful games here. You can read my post and try them yourself.
I think Wordmaster at the BBC Learning English site is the best “word game” out there.
Of course, I have to include the famous Free Rice game. It’s great that they donate rice to the United Nations food program for every correct answer, but that’s not why it made my list. It’s here because it’s a neat vocabulary-building exercise for anyone. It stands-out becauses it only increases its difficulty level based on how well you’re doing in the game.
Philologus uses recent television games shows as templates for teacher and student created exercises.
Launchball is from the British Science Musuem. Students can create a sort of video game (and learn scientific concepts in the process), title it, and post the url.
Quizalize is a relatively new addition to The Best Ways To Create Online Tests. It’s very similar to Kahoot. My big critique of both Quizalize and Kahoot has been that neither have allowed students to see how they are faring against their classmates in answering the questions, which is an important component (used appropriately) in using them as games. That’s why I’ve featured an alternative called Quizizz on my The Best Websites For Creating Online Learning Games list over the first two. Quizizz lets students see their standing in the competition. Even though I don’t think it’s been a problem in my classes for low-scoring students to see their low-standings because of the super-strong culture we develop around student challenges being around learning the English language and not about intelligence, I can see that problem potentially being an issue in many content classes.
Quizalize recently announced a new feature that I think deals with that problem — now students are automatically grouped in teams and the teams compete against each other, plus students see how their teams are doing. This is how I typically organizing learning games in the classroom, and I think it’s simple, yet ingenious, that Quizalize figured out how to do it automatically online.
I’m now adding both Quizizz and Quizalize to this list.