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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Five Ways to Build Your Own Educational Games

Playing games can be a good way for students to study and remember vocabulary words, mathematics facts, and basic trivia-type information. There are hundreds of websites offering "educational" games, some of them are good and some are not so good. (I've listed 35 good ones here). Despite all of the games that already exist, sometimes you just can't quite find the one that meets your students' needs. In that case, you can try making your own games. Here are five free resources for building your own games.

Study Stack is one of the better review game creation tools that I've tried. Study Stack allows teachers and students to create flashcards, crossword puzzles, matching games, word searches, and other classic study games for any subject area. You can create a game using any type of numerical or text data. Once you're data is in your account, you can use that data to create multiple games. For example I used the same US Civil War information to create flashcards and a matching game. All of these games can be shared via email or embedded into your blog or website.

Sharendipity makes it possible for students and teachers to quickly create and share simple video games. Sharendipity's drag and drop creation tools can be used to create a game in as few as four steps. For new Sharendipity users the tutorials provide clear directions and helpful game ideas. Games created on Sharendipity can be embedded in your blog or website.

ClassTools.net is a free service teachers can use to create their own educational games. Games made on ClassTools.net can be shared via email or embedded into a blog or website. (Yet another reason for having a class website or blog). ClassTools.net provides fifteen easy to use templates with which teachers can make educational games for their students. There are also pre-made games on ClassTools.net which teachers will find useful.

ProProfs Brain Games allows you to build interactive crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, word searches, hangman games, and sliding puzzle games. The games you create can be embedded into your blog or shared via email, Twitter, Facebook, or Myspace. If you don't want to take the time to create your own game, you can browse the gallery of games. All of the games in gallery can be embedded into your blog.

Purpose Games is a free service that allows users to create custom games, share games, and play games. There are two styles of games that you can create and play on Purpose Games. The simpler of the two styles is a fairly basic multiple choice game. The other style uses images and maps on which players have to name the places represented by placemarks on the image or map. For an example, try this game about the skeletal system. Purpose Games gives game creators the option to make their games public or private. If you select the private option, only the people to whom you send invitations will be able to play your game.

If you found this post useful, please consider subscribing to Free Technology for Teachers via email or RSS.

Here are some related lists that may be of interest to you:

12 Essentials for Technology Integration

Beyond Google: 15 Tools and Strategies for Improving Your Search Results

Ten Spelling Games and Lessons


New Facebook Page

Some of you have already noticed, but in case you haven't seen it yet, I've created a Free Technology for Teachers Fan Page on Facebook. You can become a fan through the widget that I've embedded into the blog or you can become a fan here. This could be a good way to connect with other readers who are also interested in free stuff.

The Most Dangerous Game: Full-length Video

Richard Connell's The Most Dangerous Game is one of my favorite short stories (and one of the few I remember from high school). I know a number of middle school and high school teachers still use the story in their curriculum. Last night while looking for something totally unrelated, I stumbled across the full-length video of the 1932 movie based on The Most Dangerous Game. The movie is embedded below.

ProProfs Brain Games - Build Your Own and Share

ProProfs, a quiz and flashcard service I wrote about in July, has recently launched a new service that allows you to create your own brain games. ProProfs Brain Games allows you to build interactive crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, word searches, hangman games, and sliding puzzle games. The games you create can be embedded into your blog or shared via email, Twitter, Facebook, or Myspace. If you don't want to take the time to create your own game, you can browse the gallery of games. All of the games in gallery can be embedded into your blog.

Embedded below is a simple word search I made using ProProfs.


Applications for Education
ProProfs Brain Games could be an excellent platform for making your own review games for your students to use on your blog. You could also have students develop their own review games in preparation for a test or quiz.


You may also be interested in 35+ Educational Games and Games Resources.

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