Developed by Sherston the game requires children to imagine they are on the planet Oglo and need to defend the planet from a timber logging gang determined to cut their way through the Rain Forest. Students have to use Logo software code and maths skills to save the forest. Developing maths numeracy and ICT skills as they play the game children also learn about ecology and the importance of the world’s rain forests.
Being an educational game the children get to enjoy exploring the rules and developing his or her expertise. The key to learning retention, as revealed in studies by the National Training Laboratory, is greatly enhanced through practice. Children retain around 50 per cent of what is taught in class but can boost this to 75 per cent of learning that is retained through practice. Small wonder musicians and actors spend so much time practicing to perfect their ability. Yet in the busy classroom it is an exercise often missed or becomes impractical with many school children of differing ability and needs. Teachers inevitably have to aim for the mean and those children whom they believe can get the best results or improvement. Teaching is not as ethical as we like to believe. There are targets to be met!
The busy classroom with the teacher aligned to the varying needs of 35 or so children often find it difficult to spend adequate time practising the lesson content. When they can, Crystal Rain Forest is a huge hit. But it gets better; children can also spend time playing the educational games at home. Repeating the lesson helps a child’s achievement back in class and having fun whilst doing “homework” with or without parents’ assistance is a huge benefit. Like all educational games on the keen2learn website fun is at the core of learning. Plato spotted this essential element some 2000 years ago- “Do not, my friend, keep children to their studies by compulsion, but by play.” Plato.
The draw on a child’s attention in their free time is immense. Wii, MP3, iPhone, iPads all lead demand attention that leaves little time to complete homework. Crystal Rain Forest and other educational games are a way of enticing children to learn and have fun. And the results prove it to be highly successful.
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For schools Crystal Rain Forest is available as a single user license Crystal Rain Forest School Single User