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Release the Instructional Power of Digital Games

December 12, 2012

Release the Instructional Power of Digital Games

In an era when 91 percent of U.S. children ages 2-17 play video games, it makes sense that embedding games within our core content can be both effective and engaging. While there are lots of ways to use games to review content already taught, a shift in technology now allows teachers to use games during daily instruction of new material.

As an instructional tool, games allow for immediate feedback and the ability to reach all learners. However, creating games that are aligned to the core content can be time consuming. It’s easy to lose hours creating games or searching for pre-made templates.

To save you the time, here are several free websites that I use frequently to create purposeful classroom games.


Dr. Jeff Ertzberger, Watson School of Education at UNCW, has created an invaluable site loaded with game templates in PowerPoint, Word, and Excel. The best part is that his site is completely free.

Virtual Dice

Perfect when playing a game with the entire class, this site allows students to select one, two, or three virtual dice. Pair these dice with a set of game questions you created and watch student engagement soar.

Letter Dice

This site is a digital version of the word game Boggle. Incorporating an interactive whiteboard, students can draw circles around the words created given a time allotment.

Word Cloud

This site provides an entertaining and educational tool that helps students create eye-catching visuals based on text they input. After making a Word Cloud creation describing a vocabulary word or concept, then transform it into the game “What’s the Word?” by creating two PPT slides. Peers have to guess the term or concept being described in the Word Cloud shown on the first slide, and a second slide follows revealing the answer.



Triptico desktop app is one of the best free Web 2.0 tools out there. There is such a range of ways the tools on this app can be used in the classroom. Create interactive word magnets, personalized spinners, or flip timers–just to name a few. A “must” for teachers with interactive whiteboard technology. Triptico provides tools teachers and students will love to utilize.


This site enables teachers to generate their own e-learning quizzes, games, and applications through customized software. Simply plug in desired questions for content and embedded flash games are created easily. To gain access to the free downloads, join the ContentGenerator.net community forum, then proceed to the downloads section.

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