Lay a Solid Foundation of Learning With First Grade Educational Games

First grade is an important transitional year for many children. At this point, they are leaving behind the play-centered learning of preschool and kindergarten and moving on to a stricter learning environment they will spend a majority of their time in for the coming years. However, parents and teachers can still use first grade educational games to keep learning fun so you can set a more solid foundation for the rest of the schooling years.

Video Games

Your children love to play video games. However, it is important to restrict the amount of time spent playing games that have no educational value. This doesn’t mean you can’t allow your child to play games online. Instead, it means you need to focus on finding educational video games that will help reinforce the information your child is learning in school, helping him more firmly grasp the concepts so he can succeed in his new environment.

Puzzles

Puzzles are a great way for you to help your child’s important critical thinking skills. First grade educational games that incorporate puzzles of some type will challenge your child to really think about the problem and how to best solve it. The type of thinking required to solve puzzles is different than the way children think for other aspects of school. Exercising their brain with these puzzles is important to their long-term success for this reason.

Other Activities

In some cases, online educational game sites offer additional activities that can be used in the classroom or at home to supplement the learning at school. These activities may be science experiments you can perform together or worksheets you can print up for your child to complete. Children learn by so many methods it is important to be able to offer a variety of methods to your child to ensure his success.

First grade educational games are the perfect way to make sure your child transitions well to the more rigorous curriculum that comes after preschool and kindergarten. Finding a website that provides video games, puzzles and other activities will allow you to supplement your child’s education and make sure he is fully grasping the important concepts he needs to move forward through his school years successfully. First grade is the perfect time to set the foundation your child needs in the years to come. With the help of online games, you can make sure learning is still fun.

Some of the Largest Brands Are Using Game Based Apps For Advertising and Promotions

Over 550 businesses and schools have used a scavenger game application available on iPhone and Android mobile devices to drive and enhance their advertising and promotions. The SCVNGR app development platform includes notable users such as the Boston Celtics, Boston Globe, New England Patriots, Journeys, The New York Times, Universal Music Canada, Warner Bros, as well as colleges and universities including Princeton. Using mobile games as a platform for ads and promotions is one of the latest trends in consumer engagement, especially the millennial generation that grew up on video gaming.
 
The essence of the SCVNGR platform is three interconnecting elements: Challenges, which are things to do at places; Treks, which connect places and challenges; and Rewards, that offer benefits for playing. Players earn points in a Challenge – checking-in is worth a point, telling your friends where you are is worth 2 points, and and providing content about a location such as a picture is also worth 2 points. The platform’s database is understood to include already over 20 millions locations.
 
Marketing opportunities abound, from directing a Trek to a specific location with advertising and promotion opportunities along the journey and at the destinations, through utilizing consumer experiences and user generated content that involves the brand at Challenges and Treks. Of course, the Rewards can easily be tied to photo opportunities and further promotions. Fun and games are thereby able to leverage off brand related content, locations & competition.
 
For instance, a Philadelphia Diamond retailer, Robbins Diamonds, fashioned an interactive city-wide treasure hunt to find a hidden diamond ring. Clues were delivered to competitors cellphone’s by SMS text messages, mobileweb or in-app notifications. Pre-event publicity and media coverage included media from traditional print through to digital blogs. As a result, there were almost 2,000 applications for the 250 available spots and 2.5 million impressions for the retailer in TV, print, radio & internet immediately before their busiest season. See the full case study at scvngr.com

Advertising and promotions are no longer one way streets – mobile apps like SCVNGR & others are paving the way for experiential marketing utilizing the mobility benefits of those media and mediums that are with us 24/7 – the mobile phone. As Robbins Diamonds was able to accomplish, you can use a mobile app to rise above the noise produced by your competitors and saturated ad markets. As well, by involving your customers in an experience they will remember and associate with your product, you are creating a positive top of mind recall event that will be hard to match through conventional ads or promotional opportunities.

Digital Marketing and Its Impact on Small Time Game and Mobile Application Developers

Stephen DiMarco has hit a very valid point in his post about how online marketing needs to start to assess some of the more qualitative side of marketing in terms of a brand rather than just Google Analytics or PPC, etc. In a world that’s primarily driven by unique page views, PPC campaign numbers, CTR rates, and other hard facts, it’s an interesting thought. As a gaming company, we offer post-marketing services which includes this marketing and it’s driven by numbers. We’ve yet to see how this affects us a brand, and Stephen’s got us thinking.

There are a whole slew of developers that are online at the App Store, but there’s an inherent problem with trusting a single developer. Many developers have delivered a product that’s a stand-alone app that is basically a flash-in-the-pan while others have consistently turned out mediocre but reliable apps. Who do you trust; the company that turns out one stellar app after a long hiatus or a developer that just needs some new direction or energy in their creative processes? There’s no real concept of a brand, there’s no Unilever or P&G for the App Store and therein lies the problem for marketers for iPhone development.

Although many people would argue that apps are products that have a repeat purchase cycle, etc, there’s yet to be a single developer that’s built a very successful brand using just their apps. People view apps like a utility and look to promote them as such. Very rarely does anyone ever hear about the developer but rather the app itself. This is a problem in an industry where the first firm to truly brand itself will gain a massive first-mover advantage. Indeed it will be difficult, but if a firm is able to do so, they’d easily take over the App Store.

The problem, to a certain extent, lies in the tools that are geared towards quantitative metrics rather than qualitative metrics. For example, Twitter following dictates whether you are a thought leader or follower, a PPC campaign shows how well SEO or ad placement is working. Yes, they do provide numbers which can help translate into potential leads, but there’s no concept of a brand.

Resultantly, firms are looking to use their marketing dollars to build a brand. For us, as game developers, there’s an added challenge. Although it may be easy to build one stellar app and continue to tweak it over time, such an effort doesn’t build a brand in the long run. At this point, firms need to realize how their marketing channels are being used besides the metrics they provide. Do you use your Twitter account to talk with customers? What type of a Twitter following do you have? Does your website show how committed you are to your vision? These questions begin to emphasize how qualitative metrics become important. It’s great having numbers, but as companies grow there’s a need to build a relationship with customers outside of the traditional client-vendor concept.

For example, in the case of gaming studios, a loyal group of customers translates into many benefits. Beta testers are easily found from your Twitter following or customers that have written great reviews for your titles. Ultimately these are the people that will promote you for free. They don’t show up in the metrics, you find them by talking to them. This is a brand building activity that many firms ignore. Again, for small startups it’s difficult to find the right people, but most of the time they’re hiding right under your radar. Yet many firms ignore the potential of these testers and continue to push out apps without sufficient testing. There’s no reason when there’s a small group of dedicated followers that you need to deliver a game without proper testing. These people will be the life line for your game as you need the critical honest feedback about gameplay, controls, graphics, user interfaces, etc. Without these people, you’d never get the proper feedback which helps develop a truly outstanding title.

Nonetheless, many firms do use these techniques but need to realize that there’s a brand to be built using these types of activities. Reward your beta-testers with promo codes for free games so that they spread the word about you, their recommendation to other gamers will go a long way in making your company stand out amongst the army of developers on the App Store. As mentioned by Stephen, there’s a need to change from the quantitative towards the qualitative side of marketing to build brands similar to IBM, Apple, or Microsoft for app development companies. Firms need to get away from the purely numerical side of marketing and start to see where they want to be in 10 years time.