What it is: I got the tip off for Jump Start 3-D from a tweet by Kevin Jarrett (@kjarrett) the other night and have been having a great time exploring ever since. Jump Start is the popular software title that makes educational home and school software for pre-k through 2nd grade. Jump Start 3-D is a highly interactive virtual world for kids. Each location within the Jump Start 3-D world offers fun learning adventures focused on math, reading, and critical thinking skills. Students start out by creating a character avitar that represents them in the virtual world. Registration is free on Jump Start 3-D for access to the basic world. Membership for $7.99/ month has the added benefit of new games and activities added monthly, grows with students (as they get better at the games, new more challenging games are added). I was very impressed with the free version!
How to integrate Jump Start 3-D into the classroom: Jump Start 3-D is really geared toward home use, however, I think it would make a great center in the one or two computer classroom. The site is an awesome way to familiarize students with computer skills like mouse manipulation, clicking links, using arrow keys, etc. As the students are playing in the virtual world they will also be building reading, math, and critical thinking skills…just what they need for a great 21st century literacy base.
Tips: Even if you don’t have room in your curriculum for the Jump Start 3-D virtual world in your classroom, be sure to let parents know about this fun site. It is a great alternative to other video games that students may be playing at home because of all the learning skills packed in. This site is highly interactive including video clips, highly interactive games, and sounds. You will need a high speed connection for this site. Jump Start 3-D does require an Internet plugin called Utility Web Player.dmg. The install is very simple and fast directly from the Jump Start website.
Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Jump Start 3-D in your classroom.