Ok. I know you are probably thinking I’ve lost my mind. Angry Birds is a highly addictive game, not a tool for education, right?
Angry Birds is a highly addictive game. Anyone who has ever played it knows exactly how addictive it can be. However, players develop critical thinking skills, plan strategically, and learn some basic physics concepts. I am sure there are more benefits. Possibly even a formal list somewhere. Just Google it and I am sure something will come up.
But why take my word for it? I am just your average homeschooling mom. So if my opinion doesn’t matter, how about the opinion of this teacher – Joe Bower – whose website I have fallen in love with. Need more validation? How about this blog post by a physics teacher, also known as the “Educational Technology Guy”?
The game has a simple premise: the birds have their eggs stolen by a bunch of greedy pigs. This makes them “angry” birds…duh! The object of the game is to get revenge on the pigs. Trust me, once you have had a pig laugh at you for failing to complete a level, you will be as angry as the birds and ready for the pigs to die. DIE PIGGIES, DIE!!
For every level, the pigs have some kind of fortress that you must destroy, along with any pigs. You get a predetermined number of birds and a sling shot to fling them at the fortress.
As the structures get more complex, you also gets birds with a variety of abilities. These range from basic kamikaze birds, to yellow birds than can speed up, bomb birds, birds that break into three, birds that drop egg “bombs,” etc.
As you can see, the situations get progressively more complicated. There are many, many, many levels that I had to play dozens of times (some more) to beat them. Also, I am a little OCD, so I actually won’t move on until I have achieved three stars on every level.
Surely, that is a lesson in perseverance alone!
I can tell you for a fact that my mind was working on strategic plans, while contemplating things like speed and trajectory. Do kids have to understand that they are contemplating speed and trajectory in order for their minds to grasp the concepts? No. Does all learning have to be drudgery and textbook misery? No. I have a feeling that children who are exposed to these concepts early on, whether they realize it or not, will benefit down the line when they are faced with them in a more academic setting. This kind of processing and tinkering is what led to the greatest discoveries of mankind. I can see Leonardo Da Vinci getting down with a game like this. In fact, there is a game called “Da Vinci Cannon” that is the predecessor of Angry Birds.
Do my kids play Angry Birds all day? No. They don’t play on any kind of technology all day. But when they are finished with their work & chores for the day, am I complaining about Angry Birds play? Definitely NO! This game is a keeper.
This app is available for the iPhone, iPad, and the Android app market. It may be available for other technology as well.