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“Kids these days” – we’ve all heard the phrase, and no doubt most of us have spoken it ourselves. Why? Simple: technology. Kids these days watch television, browse information from around the world on the Internet, listen to literally days’ worth of music on portable music players, and, of course, play video games.

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But what sort of video game systems are out there, and which of them offer educational video games and student learning rather than just mindless entertainment?  In other words, which video game systems do you need to buy to give your children the top educational video games for kids?  Take a look at the following list of video game systems that are great for educational video games and student learning, and decide for yourself which ones you think are the most appropriate for your children.

The Old Standby:  The Personal Computer

The most basic and versatile video game system you can buy for educational video games and student learning is the good old-fashioned PC.  PCs offer a number of the top educational video games from kindergarten ages – games with loveable characters like Winnie the Pooh or Dora the Explorer – to the sorts of games young teens would enjoy, where the player has adventures designed to teach as well as entertain.  PCs are also valuable for many other things, of course, which makes them doubly important: computers these days are becoming absolutely vital in nearly every high paying job market.  Knowing how to use a computer is one of the most important things the next generation of workers can have, and owning your own PC for educational video games and student learning is a great way to give your child a corner on the market.

PCs also allow your child access to the Internet, which, properly used, can be a great educational tool – in fact, many educational video games can be found for free on the Internet.  You also have to be careful, though, when browsing online – like the ocean, the Internet is full of many wonders, but also contains sharks.  Know Internet safety, and protect your child from the many not-so-nice things that reside on the worldwide web.

Handheld Educational Video Game Systems

There are two main problems with PCs:  they are bulky, and they are expensive.  What if you just want something for a young child to play with no matter where he or she is?  In that case, you might want to look into the wide world of handheld educational video game systems.  Systems like vDeck and a number of others are generally sold most places where toys are available, such as WalMart or Target, to name two obvious examples.  These systems have the advantage of being relatively cheap – rarely more than one hundred dollars, and often only twenty or thirty – and easy to use by any child.  Again, educational video games and student learning are available on these systems for just about any student, from toddlers to the ages of 10 – 12, so this is a great place to start looking.

Standard Video Game Systems

The video game systems that one always hears about, of course, are the big ones: Xbox, Playstation, and Nintendo are the current three big contenders, with the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and Wii as their respective most current platforms.  These platforms are midrange between the handhelds and the PCs; whereas, many PC’s are around six hundred to a thousand dollars, these platforms range from around two hundred to four hundred dollars, depending on where you get them and whether or not they are used.

Disadvantages of Standard Video Game Systems

The disadvantage to these systems is that their primary purpose is entertainment.  Unlike PCs, these video game systems don’t have other purposes beyond games, and unlike the handheld video game systems for educational games we mentioned earlier, most of these games are not purely for education.  Many of these games, though not the top educational video games, are still useful for children – there are music games, for instance, that are active rather than simply having the child sitting immobile on a couch, and teach things like rhythm and even harmony and singing techniques.  Many of these games, though not “educational video games” in the strictest sense of the word, are still very valuable for the child playing them – it’s up to your judgment as to what the child receives.  Of course, some of the top educational video games are available for these consoles, just as they are for the PC.  Just do some research and consider your options – some of the top educational video games for kids are available on all the platforms, while some of these great tools for educational video games and student learning are only available for one or a few.  A little research will help you make the right choice.

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