Educational games are proof that learning and having fun are two sides of the same coin. The implementation of games in lessons has a large impact on the efficiency of the learning process. Thus, it is not a surprise that game-based learning is becoming an important part of the lessons in many different disciplines and curriculums. The abundance of educational games has various purposes, such as teaching new material, reinforcing knowledge, learning new skills (like teamwork), creating happy vibes in the classroom, and much more.
There are so many advantages to using games in the classroom that the question is not whether to include them in the learning process but how, especially in this new reality of remote learning. Modern technologies provide solutions to these challenges, like the easy-to-use online whiteboard in the virtual environment.
How can the online whiteboard be used to adapt educational games to the virtual classroom?
1. Browse for ideas
One of the misconceptions related to playing games in class is the myth that they are an activity only for kids. The truth is that educational games are a fun way of learning and practicing at any age. Take into consideration the interests of your students, their skills and knowledge, and the learning material and write down the goals for each lesson. Browse for ideas for games that will enrich the learning process by bringing fun to the classroom. The online whiteboard is perfect for combining with video conferencing for live learning sessions in groups.
Browse through different resources like Pinterest, teachers’ forums, and groups and find ideas on how to adapt some classic games to the virtual environment.
A few entertaining games that are fun and easy to play are:
We all know this classic game that helps with learning new words and improving spelling. It is also one of the easiest fun activities to do on the online whiteboard. Make a list of words that are relevant to the lesson and write the empty lines on the whiteboard. This is a great game to play in groups and can be used to create competition between students. Each group takes turns at guessing the missing letters.
- Word Chain
This entertaining game improves quick thinking skills, spelling, and vocabulary. Playing this game on the online whiteboard is simple: the teacher chooses a category related to the lesson and writes down a word on the board. The students take turns adding words starting with the last letter of the previous word. A fun twist to this game is to add a challenge when someone forfeits their turn, such as dancing, singing, etc.
If you want to make the game more complicated, you can turn it into a sentence chain where the next student has to add a sentence starting with a word that begins with the last letter of the previous one.
- Write a Story
The Write a Story game is a real booster for creative thinking and brainstorming. The teachers write down three words on the online whiteboard and every student takes turns adding three more words to create a story. At the end, one of the students reads the whole story, which usually turns out to be very funny and unusual.
- Draw It
The online whiteboard is an excellent tool for games that include drawing. One of the most fun games that you can play right away is the Draw It game. The teacher gradually describes an object to the students while they try to guess what it is by drawing it on the whiteboard. A fun twist to this game is to exchange roles and ask a student to describe an object while the teacher draws what they think it is on the online whiteboard.
This classic game is a favorite activity of students of all ages. It is a great game to implement in different lessons, as well as use for fun breaks in between studies. Make a list with words related to the lesson and share one word with one of the students in a private message in the chat. The student uses the drawing feature of the online whiteboard to give clues to the rest of the class. The rest of the students try to guess the word. Pictionary is an awesome activity to play in groups.
2. Prepare in advance
How can you prepare for the games you are planning to play on the online whiteboard? The compatibility of the software with various types of files makes it easy to add pictures, drawings, text, videos, and other multimedia on the board. Some ideas for finding materials for the games include using word generators and name generators for spelling games such as Hangman, etc. Find free images and diagrams on different websites, as well as use free PDF printables that you can incorporate into the games. In addition, you can take photos to use as clues for the games, create designs, write texts, etc.
Testing is the next step in the preparation of the games. Take time to test the features in the online whiteboard before the beginning of the lesson. Add files, draw pictures, etc. to make sure that everything is working perfectly.
Invite the students for the live session.
3. Time to play
When the online whiteboard is set up, invite the students and take time to explain the rules of the game. Have fun playing and take notes on what works the best. It’s a great idea to create a database with the materials for the game for future reference and use.
These educational games add a new twist to the learning experience that combine both fun and effectiveness in the best way. Playing games is an exciting activity that can greatly benefit creative thinking, teamwork, decision making, and the acquisition of new knowledge in the most effortless way.