Online Educational Games Change Principles of Learning

If you’re lamenting that kids are not getting a practical education any more, take heed, technology is leading young people in entirely new directions, with online games that teach kids everything from how to save money in virtual piggy banks to how to run multinational airline scheduling and pricing operations.

TPOH will leave it to readers to try out some of these games to determine their value, but the simple fact is that young people are no longer beholden to classroom models for learning. Simulations, interactive play, and augmented reality offer new ways of problem-solving and development exercises.

The University of Akron, for instance, provides links to all kinds of study materials in the form of games that test not only kids’ motor skills, but math, technology, economics, U.S. history and government, and many other topics.

Most of the games can be played online though some are meant to be app downloads. Many of the games the university lists are for grades K-6, but some of the games on personal finance and entrepreneurship target grades 7-12, which is important if schools are not going to make finance classes mandatory.

Thousands of resources are available online for teaching financial education to young people. provides gaming-based lessons on microeconomics, industrial theory, and of course, game theory. These are higher-level concepts, and the demonstrations would make any college-age student sit up and pay attention.

Even the U.S. Mint has interactive games, including one that teaches youth about the branches of government. It’s a study tool that forces students to consult the Constitution when they get lost. What could be better than that?

Many of the online economics games offer business simulation strategies, and many are targeted at building collaborative efforts with thousands of players at a time. Some sites are agenda-driven, like trying to teach the value of alternative energy or cooperative farming. A lot of them, surprisingly, are free.

In all, it’s a brave new world out there. Students are learning in ways that many parents and older generations may never understand. So put on your virtual reality headset and hang on for the ride.