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Mind 360

  What it is:  Mind 360 is a website version of the Nintendo DS game Brain Age.  The games on Mind 360 are aimed toward sharpening memory, increasing focus, build logical reasoning skills, increase alertness and awareness, boost productivity, and exercise the mind.  Each player gets a virtual personal brain trainer that helps build up brain function.  Students (or teachers) can play games and increase mental fitness by strengthening key cognitive functions including memory, attention, executive functions, thinking and reasoning, and visual perception.  Mind 360 has teamed up cognitive psychologists with game designers to boost mental health while having fun.  The brain training programs are tailored to the individual user.  Students also have the option to play against other students while building their mental strength.   The games are split up into the skill that it is building.  There are memory, attention, logic and reasoning, virtual perception, and exectutive function games.  In the training section, students can choose a student fitness program to help boost grades by “enhancing those cognitive skills required for overall better learning including attention, memory, thinking & reasoning, and more.”  The virtual personal coach will guide students through the program with constant personal feedback.  What I like about the Mind 360 website is the break down that each game and skill comes with.  Each game shows which cognitive skill it is improving, how to improve brain health, scientific studies, FAQ’s, and a glossary.  For teachers, this makes it simple to quickly find a game that meets your individual learners needs. How to integrate Mind 360 into the classroom: Mind 360 would be an excellent way to start each day.  Many of the games take 3-5 minutes to complete (not including all the levels) making it ideal for a brain boosting start to the school day.  In the computer lab setting Mind 360 is a great site to bookmark for students to work on as they finish work.  Many times my students will ask to play on Addicting Games, Mini Clip, YouTube, etc.  This is a great game site that students will enjoy but is serving the greater purpose of increased learning.  Mind 360 is also a great site to bookmark on classroom computers.  Students can take turns visiting Mind 360 throughout the week so that each student gets to exercise their brain at least once a week.  These games are  a lot of fun and when students start keeping track of their progress, they will want to continue play using their account at home.  I am of the opinion that if students are going to play games, they should be games that increase learning in some way!     Tips:  Mind 360 is currently in Beta, right now you can register and play the games for free but it looks like they may eventually charge for some of their games or features.  Mind 360 says that it is appropriate for high school and college students, however I think most of the games are appropriate for even primary grades.  For primary students, I would create a few classroom accounts for students to play on so they don’t each have to sign up for accounts.  Be sure to sign up for your own account, this is a great way to keep your brain in shape too!   Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Mind 360  in your classroom.

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Dragon Box: a game for students to learn algebra…secretly

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Apply, Download, Evaluate, Interactive Whiteboard, iPod, Math, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Software | Posted on 22-04-2013

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      Dragon Box

 

What it is: Dragon Box has got to be the most brilliant game for teaching a new concept I have seen in a LONG time.  I am SO impressed with this app, I can’t say enough about it!  This is a math game that teaches algebra without you really realizing that it is a math game teaching you algebra.  It feels more like a logic card game than anything else.  There are 200 puzzles that secretly teach kids to solve equations.  They unlock each level by figuring out how to balance an equation (you have to isolate the dragon on one side of the board in order for him to emerge). After each level, he grows a little until he is full-grown.  Students learn concepts such as elimination, fractions and isolating variables throughout the game.  This is the best math app I’ve seen. It is NOT a drill/skill type app. It is actually teaching students to think like mathematicians instead of just asking them to solve a bunch of problems.

How to integrate Dragon Box+ into the classroom: I cannot say enough about this app.  The way that it gets kids thinking is completely fantastic.  Students learn algebra and how to think like mathematicians without even realizing it.  The game gives minimal direction, and invites students to explore and try new things to isolate the dragon.  The best way to use this app in this classroom: just let students start playing with it!  I love that this app could be played by students as young as six years old successfully, but also used by high school students where they would get those “aha” moments of understanding how algebra works that they may have missed along the way.

Put your students in teams, or let them explore Dragon Box independently.  Dragon Box allows for multiple logins, so you could even use it as a classroom center rotation.

Because you can download Dragon Box on multiple device types, you could even use this on a classroom computer connected to an interactive whiteboard or a projector and take turns playing as a class.  There are plenty of levels for every child to participate multiple times.

Price: $5.99

Devices: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPod Touch (3rd-5th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS4.0 or later

Tips:  Dragon Box is also available on the Mac App Store, Google Play, PC shop, Amazon Appstore for Android, and Windows Store.  Even if you don’t have iDevices, your students can play with Dragon Box!

I’ve been nominated for a Bammy Award for Educational Blogger.  I’d appreciate your vote to help spread the word about iLearn Technology.  Vote here.  Thank you for your continued support!!

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using  Dragon Box in your classroom.

Comments (4)

[...] Dragon Box is an app recently blogged about by iLearn Technology. The video above explains the app. Essentially it is an app that teaches students algebra with them barely knowing it…that’s the best kind of learning, right? There are a variety of levels that build upon prior knowledge.  The concepts learned in this game are extremely valuable for students in their math knowledge development. [...]

[...] Dragon box [...]

thanks for nice post. If you are interested, dragon box 12+ out, with signs, parenthesis, factoring etc… in an unconventional but efficient way.

[...] Box is an app that I discovered through iLearn Technology. This app allows students to play a game that teaches them algebra…without them realize that [...]

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