Online Education and Games

Online Education and Games

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Some Thoughts

21 Jul 2020

YouTube, the good, the bad and the ugly!

What to say?  The phenomena that YouTube has become has me in more than just two minds, probably more like half a dozen.

There is so much crap on YouTube that at one stage I was going to outright ban it.

Problem though, there’s also a tonne of good stuff. Almost anything you want to know is on YouTube. Part of my daily online learning includes a crash course in chemistry on YouTube. Admittedly I don’t understand half of the videos I’m watching however I can always go back and re-watch them. Which is the beauty of YouTube.

Google itself won’t let an account of a child under 13 have access to YouTube. So that’s saying something.

I guess it’s really up to the individual as to what access you give your child or your learners. 

There must be a way to filter or select the videos that you want your child to watch and block all the junk out there. Guess I’m gonna have to go on YouTube and find a video to show me how 🙃

16 Jul 2020

The Streak

There is a movie called The Streak which is about a baseball team that was put together using statistics. It’s a great film and I won’t spoil the ending. I will say at one point in the movie the team has a winning streak.

When I first started Duolingo I set myself a goal of three lessons a day. After 164 days I missed two days in a row and lost my streak, it was devastating and I didn’t pick it up for a couple of months.

When I returned I changed it to one lesson a day and I’m now on 252 days, on track for a year.

That said when I set goals for my boys I don’t use streaks, because sometimes kids will forget and shouldn’t feel bad about occasionally dropping the ball.

We’ve all done it. We lose our motivation, our drive, our discipline. What’s important though, is not the streak, but our ability to get back up and give it another go when we lose it.

That’s the lesson we need to teach our kids.

12 Jul 2020

Rewards and Incentives (aka be careful what you wish for!)

The boys have to have 105 minutes over seven days on Khan Academy if they want to play Fortnite.

At the time this seemed like a good incentive, until I found one of them running the videos double speed on his phone while simultaneously playing a game on the tablet.

With Khan, I can see how many exercise minutes (quizzes attempted) and how many learning minutes (the total of videos watched plus excercise minutes). 

This has meant a review of the incentive so that now the boys need to do 105 learning minutes over seven days with 50% of those minutes as exercise minutes.

Today my boy showed me that he done 129 minutes total and 63 minutes exercise.

We all make incentives for our children, just remember they’re way smarter than us and a lot more literal and will always take the shortest route to the grand prize!😉


11 Jul 2020

It’s not all work!

Sometimes it’s okay for your kids to play a fun game. Not an EduGame, where they’re playing and learning at the same time, just a good old-fashioned time waster.

My boys had done ChessKid, Khan Academy, Duolingo, Japanese Dungeon and Algorithm City. We also just walked an hour and a half in the rain on the Centenary Trail in Canberra. 

When they asked in the car if they could put a game on their phones, I figured they had done the work, so they had a look on Google Play chose one and I approved.

Not all screen time has to be productive, and the balance between productive and fun screen time is a tightrope that you’ll have to walk and figure out for yourselves and your kids!🙃

10 Jul 2020

What’s good for the goose is good for the gander!

Okay, I told my kids that they couldn’t play Fortnite unless they had done 105 minutes of Khan Academy over seven days. This equates to 15 minutes a day.

The problem is, I now have to do 15 minutes a day because my kids want to know if I’ve got 105 minutes over seven days before I can play Fortnite.

When you’re setting benchmarks for your kids remember what’s good for the goose is good for the gander! 😉

8 Jul 2020

Tips and Tricks

Ok, I’ve been doing Japanese dungeon daily and I’ve learnt a few things.

One, don’t use your gems you’ll need them to unlock the dungeons as you progress.

Two, there is a daily set of challenges that allows you to earn up to 10 gems a day.

Three, save the gold for levelling up your character twice each day. This ticks off one of the challenges above

Four, when starting out on a new dungeon or lesson use a low level character as it will take longer to complete and repetition is key in this game and in learning Japanese symbols in general.


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