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Holly Metzger-Brown breaks down electronic teaching and shares what we can learn from watching kids play games on electronic devices.

Ever wonder how kids can quickly and effortlessly navigate games and activities on electronic devices while keeping their attention. Quality games and activities designed effectively allow kids to easily navigate the program features, build their academic skills and fluency while keeping their full attention.

Several features make electronic educational games and activities a true electronic teaching program. One feature a quality electronic teaching program has is the constant interchange between the program and the learner that keeps the learner alert and active in their learning processes.

Another feature of a quality electronic teaching program is the program ensures the learner understands before moving on to the next lesson or question. The electronic teaching program will only introduce material to the learner when they are ready. One beneficial feature of an effective program is it guides the learner with the correct response, including hinting, prompting or suggesting to enhance learning. An electronic teaching program provides immediate feedback, shaping behavior while holding the learner’s interest.

A quality electronic teaching program will engage the learner and enhance the learner’s learning process. An example of an effective program would be an educational program designed to enhance reading and be an interactive game-like feature. The reading program will allow a learner to learn with multiple-choice letters to complete the word while giving a picture of the word and sounds to prompt the learner to begin the early stages of the reading process. If the learner selects the incorrect response, a sound is provided. If a correct letter is selected, light flash and the word is repeated, keeping the learner active, busy and alert; therefore, the learner continues to play the game.

The reading program would provide the letter sounds when you click on the letter and guide the learner to select the correct response. An effective educational program will highlight and be prompted through sounds and visuals; therefore, the learner will continue to play the games.

What have we learned from watching kids play games on electronic devices? Using electronic games to develop educational programs builds a learner’s academic skills and fluency while keeping their full attention and provides motivation to keep playing. When designing programming it is important to use the features of an effective electronic teaching program where the learner is consistently engaged, receiving prompts when needed, and receives immediate feedback.

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Holly Metzger-Brown

Holly Metzger-Brown, M.Ed. is the youth fitness director at the York Jewish Community Center.

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