Digital game-based learning (DGBL) can be a good way to get students of any age excited about learning. The right games can serve as effective teaching tools that not only speed up the learning process, but also improve comprehension. There are many different learning-based games that can be played online. Here are a few to try with your English classroom:
Free Rice - FreeRice is an online trivia game created by the United Nations World Food Program to provide free education and end world hunger. When visitors answer game questions correctly, rice is donated to hungry people around the world. Trivia categories include English vocabulary, English grammar, geography, math, chemistry, language learning, and art.
Free Poverty - Free Poverty is similar to FreeRice in the fact that it donates to needy people whenever visitors answer questions correctly. The difference is that Free Poverty donates cups of clean drinking water rather than rice and focuses solely on geography trivia.
ProProfs Brain Games - This site offers free puzzle and brain games, such as word searches, hangman, memory games, and word jumbles. Visitors can play existing games or create their own online learning games and puzzles.
Fit Brains - Fit Brains is an online brain fitness platform that provides fun games to educate and exercise the brain. The site's word fragment games have been proven to improve English language vocabulary, comprehension and fluency.
Learning Today - Learning Today, a provider of Internet-based education, offers several free reading games that can be played online. All of the games are research-based and designed to improve phonemic awareness, vocabulary, and reading comprehension.
Spell It! - This game, from TheProblemSite.com, displays a picture of a common object and then asks players to spell out the name of the object. Most of the words in this game are spelled the way they sound, making it a good game for beginning English students with limited vocabulary.
Tutpup Spelling - Tutpup is a new digital game-based learning site that offers fun and competitive English and math games. The site's spelling game, which requires players to listen to a word and then spell it out, is ideal for English classrooms.
iKnowThat.com - This education site provides a wide range of online language arts games that would work well in the English classroom. Each game includes a teacher's guide to help educators choose the proper level of play for their students.
Sesame Street Games - Sesame Street's online learning games are perfect for younger children who are learning the alphabet and older children who are just learning to read.
Big Universe - Big Universe isn't technically a DGBL site but it could easily be used as one. The site allows visitors to create and publish their own books online--an excellent activity for any English class.
Guest post from education writer Karen Schweitzer. Karen is the About.com Guide to Business School. She also writes about online degrees for OnlineDegreePrograms.org.