Edutainment Strikes Again… Nintenducation

If you’re a student in Japan or Great Britain, you’re loving life right about now.  According to an article from Kotaku, schools in both countries are using Nintendo DS systems in K-12 classrooms.

nintendo-ds

How would a school use the DS to teach – consider the curriculum a Scottish school is developing around the DS.

“We suggest that schools follow [the Brain Age] methodology although they are free to trial other approaches,” said Robertson. “Our main approach is not to prescribe a series of lesson plans but to suggest how the game, be it Nintendogs or Hotel Dusk, can be used as the contextual hub about which learning in a variety of curricular links can grow from.”

Teachers are using Nintendogs, for example, to interest kids in reading, creative writing and art.  Some use it as a “mental starter to warm up” or as a literacy lesson.

Ethically, the article questions not only the value of games as teaching tools – everyone will have their own opinion – but, at $129.99 plus the cost of games, could US schools justify the spend when some school districts in the US can’t afford textbooks, let alone computers or Nintendo DS systems for every student.

A parent of a 3rd grader said, “”Ultimately, I don’t think they should have DSs in school because we have so many other things we could be spending money on.”

Which is worse for our students, being concerned with the value of edutainment or the dollar value of non-traditional learning?

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