Educational Game Software Evaluation

Elmo Loves ABCs by Sesame Street is an interactive educational app available on iPad, iPhone and Kindle Fire which is designed for children between the ages of 2 to 4 years. This educational game is an engaging, multi-function app made for children towards learning the alphabets. The cost for purchasing this educational game for children is $4.99. Overall, the App by Sesame Street is rated age 4+ by the iTunes app store, receiving recognition for 2013 Learning award and 2012 Parents’ Choice Silver Award.

This educational game includes different modes varying with different types of games children can enjoy playing. The games allow the children to choose letter, trace the letters, and watch video clips of objects that start with the same letter. This mode allows the children to get involved in the game by coloring in the objects that were shown or play hide and seek. Another mode in this software allows children to identify and recognize letters within a group of letters (both uppercase and lowercase letters are used). The software includes the sounds that each letter makes. This mode includes a game where children can hear sounds of letters and watch a video finding the item that starts with the similar sound which was heard earlier. The software also includes a mode where the alphabet song is played by Elmo where children are invited to sing along with Elmo and friends.

This aspect of the game is where digital game play is captivating and persistent in nature which has given a rise to the development of academic/educational games and apps (Blumberg & Fisch, 2013). According to the article Digital Games as a Context for Cognitive Development, Learning, and Development Research the author explains that effective educational games that provide viewers ability to comprehend, acquire, and apply information gained via the screen (Blumberg & Fisch, 2013). 

After browsing through many different types of software I came across Elmo Loves ABCs and discovered the many things I was looking for in an effective educational game for children in preschool. This software includes learning outcomes for children in regards to learning the alphabets and the sounds of each alphabet. Through this educational game I believe children will gain an understanding of the alphabets by recognizing the sound each alphabet and making connection to items with the same letters. This software provides a well-structured learning environment for children and the multimedia allows children to choose the activities they wish to complete within the modes of the software. Overall, after using and reviewing this educational game I believe as an RECE that it is an interactive, engaging, enjoyable game for young children that includes many methods of early learning.

Educationally effective television series such as Sesame street is a result of developmental research and researcher role in the creation of educational games (Blumberg & Fisch, 2013).

The best features of the educational game Elmo Loves ABCs is the choices of media forms within the game. The software has variety of media usage which is included within the app such as the texts for the alphabets, picture graphics of items, animation videos of Elmo and audio of the sounds the letters make and finally we have Elmo speaking to the children about learning the alphabets. The format used by the software is highly acceptable to preschool children in classrooms or at home care with parents and families. The children are allowed to have control over what their own learning experience will follow with.

Each child has an opportunity “to select the content, methods, materials, and activities that suit their own needs, interests, and abilities” (Goynes, 2000).

The software has a variety of learning potentials for children. Learning potentials for this software would include language and reading while the children recognize letters, words, names and spellings. The educational game allows children to make choices of the method, content, and materials they would like to use according to their personal interests. Each child has the ability to make selections in this educational games according to what is best suited for their own needs and interests.

According to the article Practical Guidelines for Evaluation Software it explains that the use of “vivid graphics, animation, video and sound can bring concepts to life” (Goynes, 2000).

Similarly, a learning outcome for this software uses this concept within the learning outcome of Creative arts where the children draw, listen to music and sing along with songs. Also, children using this software are found using skills of thinking, reasoning and communication while applying information, solving puzzles and listening. Overall, this educational game Elmo Loves ABC’s has several forms of interactive media built within one app and provides children with an opportunity to learn language and reading skills while using their ability to think and reason with communication skills.

References:

Blumberg, F. C., & Fisch, S. M. (2013). Introduction: Digital games as a context for cognitive development, learning, and developmental research. In F. C. Blumberg & S. M. Fisch (Eds.), Digital Games: A Context for Cognitive Development. New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, 139, 1–9.

Goyne, S. J., McDonough, S. K., Padgent. (2000). Practical Guidelines for evaluating Education Software. The Cleaning House, 73, 345-350

Link to Purchase game:

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/elmo-loves-abcs-for-ipad/id426747278?mt=8

Video:

Sesame Workshop Apps. (2014,  May, 22). Elmo Loves ABCs- Gameplay Review- Free Game Trailer for Iphone/Ipad/Ipod. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QX-x4otIFfQ

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