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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


ICT Games

by James Barrett
 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

4.5 stars
Content Quality: 4.75 stars
Effectiveness: 4.5 stars
Ease of Use: 4.5 stars
Reviewed: Jun 17, 2013 by Teacher Education
Overview: This site provides a wide variety of math games for one or more players. The games are directed towards primary aged students. The site was created in England and includes the goals for English curriculum (rather than Common Core U.S. standards). Some of the games also have short demonstration videos to explain how the game works.
Learning Goals: The goals for each game are clearly stated beside the game. The goals are stated in terms of English objectives, but are clear enough for any teacher to relate to their own program. The goals are to promote math concepts in the areas of addition, subtraction, numeracy, time, etc. As well, there are phonics games to promote reading skills.
Target Student Population: These games are generally targeted at infant school teachers and parents of infant age children.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Understanding of students of how to move about a simple website.
Type of Material: Collection on website; App for phonics available in iTunes store ($2.99 as of June, 2013)
Recommended Uses: The programs could be used independently by young learners who have access to IPADs or computers in the classroom. It could also be used with small groups or a full class of young students.
Technical Requirements: Web Browser; Flash 6 required. Phonics game available for iPhone and iPad in iTunes store for $2.99 (June 2013)

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.75 stars
Strengths: The games present important math concept practice. The concepts presented are the basic concepts that support math skills. The games allow children to develop a better understanding of concepts such as counting, place value, adding and subtracting. Children who develop stronger skills in these areas will do better in later math learning.
Concerns: The games can be played by children who are more interested in the colorful characters on the screen, rather than doing the math correctly. The program does not provide a correction mode to help children see what mistake they might have made.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: The learning objectives are to support basic math concept development. The games could easily be integrated into the math curriculum being taught in a primary classroom. Teachers might use the games to enhance concept development, to introduce a new concept, or to provide support or enrichment. Not all children would have to play the same game at the same time. Each child could play the games most appropriate for their learning needs. Teachers could easily differentiate learning using the games.
Concerns: The games should not take the place of hands on materials for young children. Teachers should not use the games in the place of other evaluations of a child's understanding of the concept.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: The website is relatively easy to navigate. Teachers could easily select a game for a student to use. The game lets the child know how he/she is doing in the way the game is designed. Each game is different in how it shows the child his/her success. Students should be able to play the games with little instruction.
Concerns: Given that that games are designed for young children, it is important to realize that a young child might have trouble getting back to the home page once a game is completed. A teacher might need to spend some time instructing a child on how to navigate through the site.

Other Issues and Comments: Teachers might choose not to use the site because it is designed for British schools and the objectives are listed in British terms. Teachers need to spend the time exploring all of the options on the site before letting children use the site. The site also comes up with ads that a child might click on and get off the site by mistake.