Most children love playing games and flash based games are very popular. There are lots of educational flash games available and they can be a useful tools in the classroom for reinforcing or revising topics. They can be used with the whole class or for individual pupils on computers.
The problem with the many of the games I find for use with pupils is that they never do quite what I want them to. The questions may not be all on the topic I want or the website they are based on may have too many other distractions that make if difficult for pupils to concentrate on what they should be doing.
A solution to these problems is to make your own games that are based on the questions you want to focus on and that can be run from a school network or a website that you have control over. Unfortunately developing games in flash requires a lot of skill and knowledge that most of us don’t have the time or skills to develop. That is where Contentgenerator.net comes in. Contentgenerator.net provides a series of programs that make it easy to create your own flash games to use with pupils. Many of the programs are commercial, but are priced reasonably, while others are free.
Kerr-ching! The use of sound in the classroom (except teachers’ and pupils’ voices) is often overlooked. Almost everywhere that our pupils go they are used to hearing things and sound is used to reinforce messages all over the place. Try watching a TV game show and listening out for the sounds that accompany whatever the contestents are doing.
Obviously our classrooms aren’t TV studios and our lessons aren’t gameshows, but we can use sound to reinforce what we are teaching, or just to add another dimension to some of the things we do. One possiblity is to play music to the pupils while they are working, but that is a topic for another post. What I want to talk about is using sound effects rather than long pieces of music.
I sometimes like to play games with my classes to help introduce or reinforce a topic, maybe as a starter or plenary. It might be along the lines of a TV quiz like Who Wants to be a Millionaire or Countdown, or something like a simple team head to head quiz. I want the pupils to enjoy these and find them fun so I use the interactive whiteboard to make them visually engaging and I can use sound effects to add a further dimension. Nothing complex, maybe a ‘Ding’ for a correct answer or a round of applause at the end of a round.
There are lots of sound effects freely available on the internet. I have collected a few together in Mp3 format that you can download from here (Zip file – 1.17Mb).