Teachers, parents and students currently face many uncertainties. Many schools are operating with (or planning to commence the school year with) distance learning, while others are taking a blended approach. Some schools are proceeding with face to face instruction…but then there’s the option for remote learning for families too.
Most teachers are experiencing a learning curve they could never have imagined or anticipated.
Regardless of the mode of learning you are using, using educational virtual or online learning games to activate and ignite student learning is an excellent way to go. The five online games for distance learning featured below are awesome tools for engaging student interest in learning. They offer the flexibility to format the games to suit the needs of your class and program, and are fabulous tools for reviewing and assessing the work your students are undertaking – across all grades and curriculum areas.
5 Best Educational Online Games for Distance Learning
Cost: Free for Educator Basic
The traditional scavenger hunt gets a virtual upgrade with Goosechase Edu. Educators can either create their own mission from scratch or choose from the extensive options in the game library. Students can download the app for Android or iOS, and submit answers in the form of a photo, a video, a text response, or by checking in at a specific location.
Implementation Idea: Create a Back to School Kickoff scavenger hunt to informally assess concepts for your subject area and have students digitally explore their Google Classroom page, the syllabus, and class expectations. Check out the template here and customize it to your specifications.
Cost: Free for Educator Basic
Socrative offers an exciting way to formally and informally assess student comprehension in a variety of learning environments. The free version allows up to 50 students and one public room, making it an ideal and affordable choice for many primary teachers.
Students individually log in with their student ID on the app, and educators can track their progress through on-the-fly questions, quizzes, and their signature Space Race game.
Implementation Idea: Let’s say you’re a math teacher in a blended learning classroom where half of your students are logging in remotely for class each day. After teaching a concept, you can holistically assess comprehension by assigning a Space Race quiz of 5-10 questions, for everyone to complete, whether they’re present in-person or virtually.
Cost: Free Basic Version
Kahoot has become a classic go-to in the world of virtual educational games, and they’ve really stepped up in support of educators and families making the shift to distance learning. You can access quizzes created by Kahoot Academy Certified educators, or make one of your own in minutes. Now, you have the option of hosting live games or assigning self-paced student challenges they can complete in their own time.
Implementation Idea: You and your class have been practicing with syllables through various activities, both hands on and digital. In a virtual class or in-person session, you can host a live game to review this concept.
Quizizz has received rave reviews from both students and teachers alike, and it’s easy to see why. Teachers can create classes or link directly to learning spaces in Google Classroom, and they can assign informal assessments as homework and customize due dates and answering options. When holding live virtual classes, students competing against each other can level up and earn bonus points.
Implementation Idea: Take advantage of existing quiz sets in the ELA classroom by choosing vocabulary to review. Customize the set by including your own students’ names as an additional way to build relationships. Your students will love it!
Cost: Free 30-Day Trial ($59.98/year)
Created by a brilliant high school student determined to re-engage distance learners, Gimkit takes virtual games to the next level. Content can be delivered in live classes or as homework, students can work on mastery through repeated exposure to concepts they struggle with, and they can even earn “cash” to purchase upgrades and power-ups.
Implementation Idea: Have your students take charge of their own learning experience by creating their own Kits with each person contributing a test review question. This can be done in all subject areas and in almost every grade level.
Whichever site you choose, these online games for distance learning will undoubtedly boost learning engagement and investment in our in-person and virtual classrooms in all of the best ways possible.