People should never underestimate the value of mixing learning with entertainment. People have an easier time forming memories about good times than boring ones, so turning education into a game can actually help people to retain the information. It can also help encourage children with short attention spans, and adults with limited time, to learn from the lesson. There are a lot of different ways to turn education into entertainment, and it’s best to consider all of them when making plans.
Zoos and Aquariums
People can learn a lot about animals from a book, but they can’t learn everything. In particular, books are not very good at communicating the scale of large animals, since people often have trouble visualizing sizes based on written values. They are also a poor choice for explaining the way that animals move and behave, because they are forced to simplify to save time and space.
That is why people who want to understand animals need to look at them, and the best chance to do so is at a zoo or aquarium. Simply looking at the animals can help, but isn’t the only option. Many facilities, such as the Aquarium Austin, provide activities and events. Most of these involve expert explanations, which combine the educational power of a lecture with the entertainment value of a show.
Educators have been using games to teach their students for centuries, and they keep doing it because it works. Tabletop games are cheap, social activities that don’t depend on the weather, so they’re a convenient choice for days when other activities are impossible.
There are two main types of game to consider. Cooperative games, such as Pandemic, are good for teaching people how to plan and carry out a strategy as a group. The players play against the board rather than against each other, so the games usually include a random element to make things unpredictable. That also teaches the students how to adjust a plan to deal with surprises.
Competitive games, such as Power Grid, are also good for teaching anyone to make adaptable plans, but the variance comes from the actions of other players. Players who get good at the games learn to prioritize different objectives while keeping the big picture in mind. It is rare for this to apply to any specific subject in a school’s curriculum, but it is an excellent life skill that is hard to develop without practice.
Technology shapes modern life, and modern technology is very complicated. Working with these devices requires an understanding of both programming and mechanics, which makes them valuable skills for anyone who wants a future in engineering or who wants to fix their own devices.
Robots offer a great way to learn about both of those things at the same time. Building a robot teaches people how to work with solder and other tools to build complex devices, while designing one will teach the theory behind those devices. The robot needs to be programmed after it is constructed if it is going to do anything, which gives students a chance to learn about practical computing. It’s best to start small with robots that simply move around before working up to complex robots, in order to scale the intensity of the lesson with the student’s experience.
Competitions are the best way to make robots exciting. Fighting robots are always popular, but they can also race to accomplish specific tasks. These work well as spectator sports, so it’s easy to keep a large group of people interested over a long period of time. Building a successful robot also requires a variety of skills, so it’s easy to get groups of students to work together on a project. That makes them the perfect choice for parents and kids who want to focus on social skills and project management along with technical education.
Learning isn’t just for kids, and can even be done by adults alongside their kids. Families that learn together will have better understanding of the world, and one another.