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How Popular Games Are Teaching Children

Friday, May 25, 2018

As a parent, you’re likely concerned that the kiddos are getting too much screen time — whether it’s on a computer, a phone or a TV. But it’s not all bad! In fact, research shows that some screen time — particularly educational games, such as Minecraftcan actually benefit children.

But how do you know which games are worth your while? Our Windstream team is taking you on a deep dive of two.

Minecraft

In Minecraft, gamers can build their own worlds with three-dimensional blocks. The game, originally created in the late 2000s, has gained popularity through the years in part because of its simplicity. And once educators caught on that they could use it for teaching, Microsoft — the game’s owner — began tailoring it for that purpose.

Minecraft Education Edition has several lessons in subjects ranging from math, government, music and computer science for three-year-olds and up. In one lesson plan, for example, players are to create Fred the human body and learn about where organs are, their functions and how to recreate those functions using the game.

How does that work? Sure, the game lets you build or tear down blocks, but it can also emulate actions, such as electrical wiring with “redstone.” Like the real world, gamers can use switches and levers to activate the electric wiring.

Here are some basic tutorials and information on the more complex functions of the game.

Valiant Hearts: The Great War

Another video game, Valiant Hearts: The Great War, tells the stories of a handful of characters — most notably, Émile — during World War I. Unlike the popular first-person shooter games, like Halo or Battlefield, that have proliferated the video-game market, Valiant Hearts features cartoon-like characters who mostly run, hide or solve puzzles.

The game’s developers had worked with World War I experts for an exacting history of the war from the “mercy dogs” to the dates and troop movements. It’ll also pull at your heart strings.

Try out these two games, or, the next time your kids hop onto your Windstream Wi-Fi or your entertainment consoles, make it count with these other educational games.

And be on the lookout for more! Designers have been working with teachers to develop more educational games, like Minecraft. After all, what could be better than children learning through games they actually want to play?

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