Games are a great way to begin a journey. Here is an interactive game that will put you on the road to reading.

Have you ever wondered if you could have fun all the time? Oh yes! But too much of a good thing can be dangerous. You must have heard how “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. The same goes for all play and no work. So, here’s how we can blend both work and play — interactive games. From basic English and Science to advance Math and Logic, interactive games can be a great way to learn and have fun at the same time.

Fast ForWord is an education software that integrates games and knowledge. It assists children to develop their language and reasoning skills. Sampathkumar, CEO of Aban Scientific Reading, who lauched the programme recently in a school in Chennai, says that it becomes difficult for children to identify sounds and grasp concepts in the din of a class of over 50 students. “The human brain can be trained at any point in time. The use of gaming technology helps students to accurately identify and break down words, syllables and other terms and concepts thereby developing their reading fluency and mental skills.”

No chalk and board

The programme or ‘intervention’ has a three level approach with each level being more intense than the previous one. It focuses on four main areas of a student’s aptitude — Memory, Attention, Processing and Sequencing (MAPS). It can be used not only by children with learning disabilities, but also by regular students.

Bhavans Rajaji Vidyashram, Chennai, recently launched Fast ForWord with Aban Scientific Reading after a trial run of over six months. Ajit Prasad Jain, Pricipal says, “It is not a chalk and board system of learning. A teacher will simply supervise the session while the students use the software on their own.”

He explains that a school will require a computer lab with internet connection and headphones to use this programme.

For example, some of the elementary level games include identifying shapes. Different figures such as squares, circles, triangles and rectangles will be given which the student has to identify and place on the correct space given for that shape. They also earn points based on the number of correct answers.

“Fast ForWord is a nice and interesting exercise. Every week, I look forward to playing the games,” says Maanasvi M. Rao, a Std. II student, who has been attending these sessions since January and is more than enthusiastic about it. Based on the students’ performance, a weekly report card is also sent to their parents highlighting the students’ strengths and weaknesses while learning.

Interactive games are not going to replace the traditional method of teaching and learning, but it is certainly going to ‘play’ a big role in education.

Do not think of it as cheating or that it will be addictive. But hey, as long as you’re learning, what harm can a little fun do?