New Twists on Oldies: The Oregon Trail, Number Munchers, and Lemonade Stand

Did you play the The Oregon Trail about 50 million times in a row, your heart beating fast each time as you tried to keep members in your wagon alive?  Do Number Munchers or Lemonade Stand running on a lovable Apple II bring back warm fuzzy memories?  Did your parents ever kick you off the machine, sending you pouting outside to play, because you NEEDED to hunt for food as it was a matter of life or death on the trail, or because you were glued to practicing multiples with Number Munchers and learning how to add money and think about a business with Lemonade Stand?  Perhaps you then extended those ideas in a game outside with friends.

Come on.  I know I’m not the only one out there.  Okay, I’m dating myself in this post.  (Yes, I’m also a firm believer Pac Man and Space Invaders rock.) Of course, my parents were proactive in exposing me to technology at a young age and seeing the value of educational games. 

If you identified with any of the above, read on.  The oldies are back with updated twists!  The marketing is working and a new generation can be heard playing and learning—literally.  Lemonade Stand has the same familiar tune.  Attention parents and teachers, earbuds in kid sizes are available.  Read Little Gecko’s review of these apps to get a kid's perspective.

Here are the links to the apps:  The Oregon Trail, Number Munchers, and Lemonade Stand.  No, there’s no money headed my way for this post—I’m just a sucker for nostalgic things and curious about potentials of this form of gamification learning.

Gamification.  Now there’s a word, a word worth exploring for educational purposes.  A few questions that revolve around this I would like to explore are related to rewards and intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation.  Also I’d like to look at the possibility of putting kids in control of developing these types of games and promoting critical thinking skills with programs like Scratch and Alice.

Here’s a just for fun, somewhat related video clip to round out this post.  (Perhaps it shows sometimes in our limited free time as educators, we need to relax and lean towards the game part a bit.) 

1 comment:

  1. Just made $40.10 in 30 days in Lemonade stand! Thanks for the tip... I loved that game! And you can play it in old school classic mode. I'm going to make my own kids play it that way ;) Just so they can understand what I considered cutting edge tech.