Chapter 7: Exploring Problem Solving with Software, Apps, and Games
Focus Question: Discuss how technology generates problem solving and inquiry learning among students.
This chapter is about how educational software, apps, and learning games promote problem solving and inquiry learning for students of all ages and capabilities. Children and adolescents are natural inquirers who ask questions about every subject and incorporating student's own interests makes problem solving exciting at every grade. Software and games in this category push students to investigate problems, and question the information and then find answers using a process of asking questions, assembling evidence, drawing conclusions, and evaluating the results.
There are certain steps any student should follow to correctly solve problems. The student must first understand the problem, meaning they must identify the question, and what it is asking them to do. Next, the student must use problem solving strategies. For example, computing methods in math class, and choosing what strategy will lead them to a solution. Students must also check their solutions and determine whether they have solved them properly. If they find themselves to be incorrect, it is then important to find a better solution and check it as well.
Tech tool 7.2: Math learning games and apps
Math learning is vitally important in elementary schools, where students need to acquire the necessary skills and understandings to go to algebra and geometry in the upper grades. This tech tool provides information about some great and useful math websites, games, and apps. Zoombinis was one of the sites mentioned and I remember playing it when I was in elementary school, I loved the game and looked forward to playing it. It was interesting and taught me a lot. It helped me as a student to think quicker and use process of elimination. (personal connection). Math Blaster is another popular site. It has sold several million copies and has programs for children ages 4 to 12. It features a variety of point earning games that practice number skills.
This chapter is all about problem solving through online educational games, software, and apps. Students are being engaged online and are excited to learn and play games without even realizing how much they are learning. The educational impacts of gaming remain intensely debated. Some educators and psychologists see little value in games, whereas other researchers believe game playing supports the development of key intellectual skills. All in all Strategies for effectively using games in the classroom include minimizing those that teach isolated skills, not choosing games that are solely based on winning or losing points, discussing game content with students, and actually playing games with students.