There are tons of online educational games out there, and many, many collections of them, too. However, I’ve found that most of these collections also include quite a few non-learning games — arcade type or shoot-em-ups that have no redeeming value (at least, that I can see).
That’s not a problem for me most of the time — usually, when I have students play online games I’m pretty specific about which ones I want them to play.
However, there are infrequent times (very , very infrequently) — students are done early with a state standardized test; it’s late on a Friday after a hard week and both they and I are pretty burned-out; or when our school’s schedule is all crazy because everybody in one grade is taking the H.S. Exit exam and everybody else is in different classes — when I just want to give students the opportunity to play some learning games and not be concerned they’ll go to useless ones.
I thought that readers of this blog might sometimes be in similar situations, and thought I’d share a short “The Best…” list of sites that work well in those cases.
Except in a couple of cases, I”m just going to list the site and not give any explanation — they’re all pretty similar — they have a variety of learning games in a variety of subjects and offer very, very few, if any, useless ones.
Here are my choices for The Best Collections of Online Educational Games:
Primary Games Arena has an impressive group of learning games.
Games for Change has a collection of “serious games.”
Canadian secondary Social Studies teacher Mike Farley has gone far beyond my sharing of games. He writes a blog where he lists the links to fifteen excellent Social Studies-related games. That’s nice, but you can find those links in my “The Best…” lists. But what Mike also shares in his blog are student hand-outs for all those games. I don’t think you’ll find these kinds of resources anywhere else on the Web, and they’re a gold mine! Even if you don’t want to use some of them, they are excellent models that can be easily modified.
British Council Games is a second Council game site.
Games To Learn English is a nice collection of online games.
Show.me, the popular site that collects interactives from museums throughout the United Kingdom, has just unveiled a brand-new (and sorely needed) redesign.
Brainpop has pulled together a nice collection of online games.
Smithsonian Science has put all their games in one place.
Fun Stuff for Kids Online is from the Smithsonian.
The National Museums Scotland has a nice collection.
Suggestions and feedback, as always, are welcome.