Can Games Be Effective Teaching Tools? Disney is Trying to Figure it Out

In the edtech world, there are many educational games but oftentimes parents and teachers are left wondering if the game is actually effective in teaching students new concepts. While the idea of “edutainment” is appealing in theory, it is challenging to deliver a truly fun yet effective educational game.

This week EdSurge wrote about Disney’s efforts to find the dream combination of a game that is both fun and educational. Through their online virtual world for children, Club Penguin, Disney has been experimenting to tweak games to meet certain “learning goals” for children in kindergarten through fifth grade, according to EdSurge. While Club Penguin features over twenty-five games, three of the titles now incorporate these learning goals–Pufflescape, Jelly Bean Counter and Bits & Bolts. While the specific details about the approximately 2,500 learning goals remain nebulous, EdSurge explained that many of them echo similar physics concepts found in traditional video games (think Donkey Kong or Gorillas).

Only time (and more testing) will tell if they achieve their goals. What game titles have you tried that seem to be both fun but effective? Share your thoughts below…we want to hear!