Gamification. If you’ve been around my blog for any amount of time, you’ll know that’s one of my favorite new definitions. I’ve been so intrigued by gamification, and one of my new favorite terms: Includification, that I decided to work on finding sites and activities that promote just those activities. If you’re a new viewer, or you have no idea what I’m talking about at this point, then let me give you a brief update what these terms mean.
1. The use of game design techniques, game thinking, & game mechanics to enhance non-gaming contexts.
1. An ideology that content should include everyone, regardless of ability.
2. Design so that everyone can enjoy and appreciate the fruits of creative labor.
I started thinking if there were any places where these terms could be fully utilized, and I think I may have just found a couple of sites that are available to help do just that. Let’s start with the young ones first, because the earlier you can start a child’s education the more prepared they’ll be in the future. I’ll then go into detail about a wonderful site designed for adults to keep our minds sharp, focused, and energized.
For The Kids [ Preschool – Kindergarten ]: ABCMouse.com
If you’ve never read my article on gamification featuring Gabe Zichermann, he details in his lecture how gaming can actually make kids smarter. I couldn’t agree with him more and so, when I saw a commercial for ABCMouse.com, I knew I had to cover the site at some point. ABCMouse.com is an interactive hub for digital learning designed for early children’s learning. The curriculum is vast, so if you’re worried that it’s just a single subject site [ math, english, reading, etc. ] don’t worry – it has it all. I’ve looked over the site and it seems to be extremely accommodating to both children and parents alike.
Here’s a list of the possible curriculum that your child may see:
- Social Studies
Each of these curriculum are presented in ways that make the educational process engaging, entertaining, and meaningful to the young student in training. Children will learn via online books, puzzles, games, and interactive printable materials that parents can use to continue your child’s education offline. The site is completely 100% child safe, and parents can even take part as an active participant in their child’s education.
The site utilizes personalization factors such as:
- A personalized avatar for your child
- A lesson builder so parents can control lesson plans
- A progress tracker so parents can see how their child learns
- A ticket and rewards system for children to reward them for success
- Interactive learning activities that make learning feel personal
- Recordable book options to make reading with your child a new experience.
The site is backed by certified doctors and teachers and you can enroll today for either $7.95 per month, or $79.00 per year. You and your child will have a blast with these fun, easily accessible, and engaging new site. Now – as for you parents, don’t feel left out. If you find yourself feeling a little foggy after all of your time spent with your child’s education I think I’ve found a site for you too!
For the Teens/Adults: Lumosity.com
Lumosity.com is a site that I found from a commercial on television and I immediately thought of my mother and father when I saw this site. My mother is a sweet and caring woman, but like all parents, as they age we tend to forget things. My father is exactly the same way. Life gets busy and we lose focus of taking care of our brains rather than our needs. We want to help our children grow and become independent, strong, and knowledgable individuals. In the process of doing so however, we forget to strengthen ourselves and keep our minds and memories active. Lumosity.com has come up with a way for parents and adults to combat that.
Lumosity.com is a site dedicated to improving memory retention, focus, and the overall state of human cognition as we grow older. The site is catered to aiding in the improvement of a number of fields, I personally feel, many of us adults wish we could retain:
- Attention Span
- Problem Solving
Now certainly, any gamer who comes on my blog will probably be the first to point out that ‘actual’ video games could do the same techniques in a more entertaining environment. True. I won’t discount that I find console and PC games just as useful for providing sufficient use of all of these problem areas, but Lumosity.com provides a user with more than just an environment to learn and play in. Lumosity.com utilizes easy to access, easy to understand, and engaging games to truly challenge your skill sets.
The site has up to 35+ games at your fingertips and provides an evaluating portfolio that tracks your progress in all areas of improvement. All the games are pretty simple to understand and are either point and click or keyboard associated. It may not be as personalized as I would have liked it to be, but it does give direct information toward your gaming achievements. The site is slightly expensive, but it’s worth it if you’re looking for vast improvement on your cognitive functions.
You can have 3 game sessions to try for FREE, but afterwards to get full access you’ll have to upgrade to a subscription. You can get a subscription for either: $14.95 per month or 5.95 per month for a yearly subscription. There are a few FREE games for you to experience without making a profile, but if you want the full benefit of the site it’s probably best to try it out in full. Lumosity.com looks like a great little site and I hope it helps provide game productivity and cognitive development opportunities for adults and patients that need cognitive association help.
Check out both of these sites and see what they can do for both you and your child today!