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Educational Software Helps Kids Catch Up

Mar 27, 2008
Education has seen a lot of changes over the decades. From blab schools to open classrooms to cooperative learning, new teaching methods have made guinea pigs of students across America. No sooner does one trend become accepted than it is replaced by something new. To top it all off, researchers now declare that not all children learn in the same style. Some are hands on learners, some are very visual, and some grasp things better through repetition, adding additional skills slowly. What has not changed are the basic skills children are expected to master, such as reading. math, and grammar.

A great way to help a child who may not be getting these skills in the classroom is to try educational software. With this generation raised on computers, it is natural to learn with the aid of educational programs. Indeed, children today are so accustomed to the fast paced visual aspect of television and video games that it is often impossible for classroom teachers to interest them.

There are several kinds of educational programs for the computer, ranging from "edutainment"-basically learning candy with the emphasis on the game-to reference tools like dictionaries and encyclopedias, to actual educational games whose aim is to teach skills in a fun manner.

Computer games gave creation to educational games in the mid 1990's. The idea was to take the highly visual graphics and challenging levels inherent in computer games and to apply them to educational programs. The video game format is alluring to most children. Setting a math game in space where the problems get increasingly harder, for instance, may appeal to a child who is bored in school but who loves video games.

Video games can be a valuable tool for parents who struggle with teaching their children basic skills like grammar. With educational software, tears of frustration are quickly replaced by triumphant fist pumps as each new game level is mastered. Children have fun learning, and parents can take joy in seeing their kids succeed.
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