Wednesday, March 14, 2012

DimensionU - Computer Learning Games... Helping Kids Succeed!

In a household of three kids, we find ourselves trying to get our kids to do choose more educational activities over watching television or playing video games. If you are a parent, you know that convincing your kids to do *school work* over more fun options is often difficult. 

The geniuses over at DimensionU combined an action-packed computer game with the ability for kids to sharpen their math skills. Now... why didn't I think of that??

About DimensionU

DimensionU is a site (and company) that features the award-winning Dimension series of educational video games and rewards system. Students (grades K-12) can practice core subjects including history, literacy, math, and science.

Students have the ability to play with or against others while focusing on key subjects. Did you know that in the US alone, by the time you’re 21 you’ve played 10,000 hours of videogames (in 8 hour work days, that’s 3.5 years – more time than you spend in your average first job out of college!).  Are you as surprised as I to find out that 43% of videogame players are women? Surprising, isn't it. Educational videogames are one way to begin to truly engage this generation of kids in education.    

The concept was developed based on a simple concept of kids learning how to play a video game. If you have ever watched a kids play a new video game, it's definitely a sight to behold. When they begin a new game, they essentially know nothing of how to play the game. Within 5 minutes of playing the game, kids will begin to navigate this new environment. They may fail initially, but they try again… another 1o more minutes, another fail. However, they continue to play the game, continuing longer and further than before. Simply put, they apply themselves to learn the game – until they succeed. After hours, weeks and sometimes months… they master the videogame.

DimensionU has created fun games while incorporating the educational piece. There is the ability to play alone, with friends or even online competition (tournaments too), offering something for everyone. Furthermore, you can add in an additional motivating factor by including a reward system that allows the ability to set a weekly allowance. Once a child hits a specific goal for the week, they can earn money! What kid doesn't love a little motivation that includes rewards.

Upon getting started, *a* was intrigued by the DimensionU site. I explained that it was a new site that I think may be of interest to her. (She's one of those kids who LOVES math... odd, I know... )

To begin, your child selects a user ID as well as chooses a cute avatar. After you enter the required information, you move to the new step and select a game to play based on grade level and topic.

The game begins and the point of each game is reach a particular goal. Upon completing three goals, the child is directed to math question that can be solved by choosing a multiple choice answer (see below).

*a* had a great time playing on DimensionU. She did find it a little frustrating that a *help box* popped up quite often. "Come-on" were her exact words! Other than that, the games were very intuitive and she had a great time navigating through each game. She like the challenge of the math question and enjoyed brushing up on her math skills. Overall, DimensionU was a unique and entertaining twist to education. I know that *c* will be excited to give it a test drive next.... 

Have a child that loves math or gets excited to learn new video games? If so, make sure to check out DimensionU, it's virtually free (unless you opt to set-up an allowance). Give it a whirl... there's nothing to lose, but definitely a lot to gain!

Disclosure: “I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for DimensionU. I received a free trial of DimensionU to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank-you for participating.” Pin It

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