There is a new option to improve your literacy skills by playing a game on your smartphone.
Going to a class or working with a tutor are still the best ways to get help with reading skills. But people who are learning basic reading skills can also be helped by learning apps that are fun and accessible. That is the premise behind a new app for literacy learners called Codex: Lost Words of Atlantis.
I downloaded the app and gave it a try. I like the visuals in the game and the premise, which had me playing the role of an explorer who has found the lost library of Atlantis. The codex in the library sends the explorer on adventures around the world. I started in Egypt, where I had to perform tasks to collect artifacts and get to the next level. The tasks helped me learn letters and their sounds. I wanted to get them all right, so I could get to the next level. When I did, I was shown neat facts about Egypt that were gathered into my artifact book. It was great to see these pictures and learn about another country while I was playing the game. Overall it was fun and engaging.
I could definitely see learners of all ages enjoying this game. It would be a great way to take a break from the usual coursework to practice skills while having fun. Literacy tutors, teachers or parents could assign it as homework. Who wouldn’t want play this fun game as their homework?
The Codex: Lost Words of Atlantis app, which is available on Google Play was developed by a collaboration between Southern Methodist University (SMU) Guildhall, SMU Simmons School of Education and Human Development and Literacy Instruction for Texas (LIFT). Their collaboration is called People for Words and it was formed to compete for the Adult Literacy Xprize. The $7M Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPRIZE is sponsored by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation and challenges teams to develop mobile apps for smartphones that increase literacy skills among participating adult learners. With research showing that 77 percent of Americans now own a smartphone, the competition aims to change the way the United States meets the needs of the 36 million adults with low literacy skills, by tackling the largest obstacles to achieving basic literacy – access, retention and scale.
I encourage learners of all ages to give this game a try – and have fun playing!
For more literacy learning games, especially for younger children, check out these items from the library:
- 20 Fun-filled Games That Build Early Reading Skills by Caroline Linse. Designed for grades K-2.
- Jump Into Literacy: Active Learning for Preschool Children by Rae Pica