The usual predicament for grandparents, uncles and aunts is what present to buy grandchildren nieces and nephews who has a birthday – or Christmas looming up. You want to buy a sensible present that helps at school and does not comprise of four kgs of home assembly plastic. You want it to last, have educational benefits and fun. Start by taking a look at the range of educational games used by teachers in class.
Research shows around 50 per cent of learning is retained from listening to the teacher and this can be increased to 75 per cent through practising what the teacher is saying. Unfortunately lessons in a busy classroom leave very little time where children can actually practice what they are learning. To offset this deficiency children are set homework, but using conventional text and exercise books for homework can be very one dimensional and often frustrates both child and parent. Name any child that actually likes homework! But there is a great solution that supports learning and involves parents in fun educational activities with their children.
As time is short in class teachers use a range of educational games and toys to encourage children to have fun and start to practice the lesson. Now these same teaching resources are available for use at home. www.keen2learn.co.uk is dedicated to providing educational games to schools and parents. The range covers essential learning support in numeracy, literacy, maths, science, and ICT. Alistair Owens managing director at keen2learn explained “We launched the site four years ago to provide a fun way for children to learn in school and at home. The games are all matched to the National Curriculum and ideal for children aged 3 – 15 years.”
Keen2learn soon caught the eye of Intel who gave a national award for their entrepreneurial learning approach. A year later the site won a design council award. The product range is continually expanding and used by schools and now parents throughout the UK and overseas. The teaching resources come in the form of board games, bingo games, educational software and puzzles. “As the whole family can join in the games they are providing a great interface with parents and siblings at home. This new form of homework is welcomed by teachers who see the benefits to the child back in school” said Alistair Owens.
Technology is helping to extend the scope of educational games and whilst many manufacturers claim some educational content the best recommendation of quality is whether the product is used by teachers. Online games have huge potential to use technology to support children. “Our latest addition to the keen2learn range is an on-line revision system called Pagabo. For an annual subscription of £29.99 children can revise any subject in key stages 1- 4 and GCSE at any time online. The educational games format of Pagabo makes the experience hugely enjoyable” explained Alistair Owens.
The Pagabo package also lets parents see how their child is progressing and where further help may be needed. Children suddenly are looking forward to homework and equally parents and teachers see positive results from the increased practical learning support from parents. Educational games at home and hands on parents can prove vastly more productive that the end of term report – where help may be a little late.