A New School Teaches Students Through Videogames

http://www.popsci.com/entertainment-amp-gaming/article/2009-12/new-school-teaches-students-through-videogames

I was just wasting time on the internet and came across this really cool article!  A school opened up last September in MAnhattan, called The Quest to Learn.  This school welcomed the first class of sixth-graders who will actually learn almost everything through videogame-inspired activities.  The article talks about how video games have outperformed teachers in that they can actually keep the attention of the children.  Katie Salen, designer of Quest said “they drop kids in to complex problems where they fail and fail, but they try again and again.”  This is exactly what Gee had talked about with risk taking in video games.  Taking risks and failing makes a person want to keep trying until they no longer fail, and this is what keeps the kids so engaged.

A class of 72 students were split into four groups that would rotate through five courses throughout the day: Codeworlds (math/english), Being, Space and Place (social studies/English), The Way Things Work (math/science), Sports for the Mind (game design), and Wellness (health/PE).  Students learn by doing group projects and working together.  This school has a model that draws on 30 years of research showing that people learn best when they are in a social context that puts new knowledge to use.  An example given in the article is that kids will learn more by “pretending to be Spartan spies gathering intel on Athens than by memorizing facts about ancient Greece.”

The plan for this current class is to attend Quest through high school, adding more people every year.  A New York City Department of Education director Gregg Betheil said “We need a new ways to creat a passion for learning.”  He believes that this type of learning is “a chance worth taking.”

I thought this article was awesome, and I think it would be so school to attend a school like this.  Maybe this will be the new way of learning some day!  I posted the link at the top if you want to read the whole article.

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