The Best Learning Games, Part 5: Other Games

In this last piece in the series on the best learning games, I’m listing games that fall outside the previous categories of mathlanguage and preschool games.

This includes games addressing biology, geography, astronomy, physics, music and so forth – in other words, a quite wide variety of topics found in schools and educational institutions. These games range from being great introductory points to the subject matter to being fully-fledged learning experiences.

1. Biology: Reach for the Sun

Filament Games’ Reach for the Sun is often touted as one of the best learning games out there, and with a good reason. While the game has a much more educational flavor to it than many other great learning games, it is a fantastic way to learn about plants and their functions.

In the game, your job is to grow plants following biologically accurate processes like photosynthesis. You’ll discover a great deal about plant-life, and while the game might not be as engaging and fun as some of the other ones out there, it’s production values and didactic firepower make well up for it. It’s a game that would be a fantastic addition especially to a school biology class.

2. Biology: The Human Body

Tinybop, one of the best learning game companies out there, has created another amazing learning app, The Human Body. While the app is once again one that is not exactly a game, it is a fantastic way to introduce and explore the intricacies of the human body.

In fact, I think if you’d combine this app with something like Albert Barille’s masterpiece “Once Upon a Time… Life,” the amazing cartoon about the human body, you could really stoke the fire towards understanding how the body works in future generations of biologists.

3. Geography: Crapoks Geo Atlas

Geo Atlas is an amazing geography game that has great production values and is a really engaging and fun game to play. I have witnessed my own kids putting hours of work into the game, meanwhile stealth learning about European geography.

4. Astronomy: Star Walk Kids

Vito Technology’s Star Walk Kids is not just one of the best learning apps out there, but also one of the most impressive apps for the iPad, period. In fact, while Star Walk Kids is a great entry level app for children, I recommend installing also their “adult” apps, Star Walk and Solar Walk.

The apps give you a realtime interactive map of the stars in the sky, in addition to which they are practical treasure troves of astronomical information. The apps use an ingenious gyroscope-driven mechanism so that you can actually look at the starry sky “through” the app and learn the names and properties of the stars in the sky.

5. Astronomy: Angry Birds Solar System

I am a little biased suggesting this game as a great learning game, as I had the pleasure of participating in its creation as an educational consultant. That being said, I think the game turned out pretty great, and it’s a cool learning experience that uses the Angry Birds Space title as a starting point.

The game was actually published as an update to Angry Birds Space, so you can get it by downloading it and navigating to the Solar System world. The game was built together with NASA, who also produced a series of amazing learning videos to complement the game.

6. Physics: Elemints

This app is not really a game, but it’s a great and well-executed app to learn the periodic table. You can find an amazing amount of information about the atoms by using it. The layout is designed well and aesthetically, and the app is lots of fun to browse through. Use either as a study aid or as a way to explore the atomic composition of the Universe.

7. Music: Wolfie

Wolfie is a great app to boost piano practice. You can use it to help learn new songs on the piano, although for the most part it does require at least a rudimentary understanding of piano playing. That being said, it does offer a novel way to explore the world of music in addition to the traditional piles of sheet music on top of the instrument.

In addition to the above, I suggest taking a look at Never Alone, the game that won this year’s Games for Change award. It’s a great game about Alaskan natives, and a great game, period.

And that’s it for now.

I hope these lists about great learning games will help you find cool new things to learn, to set up self-organizing learning environments for your children and to introduce next generation learning elements to your school.

The learning revolution heralded by learning games is only beginning.

The future of learning looks like it’s a lot of fun.

One thought on “The Best Learning Games, Part 5: Other Games

  1. Pingback: The Best Learning Games: Roundup | Lightneer: Blog

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