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A DS In Every Class... Not A Bad Idea

Let's think of the educational possibilities gaming can offer for us and our kids.

Time to get real – In many cities across our great land, public schools are failing.  If I told you the horror stories that are going on now in St. Louis and Kansas City public school, you wouldn’t even believe me. 

It’s time to think out of the box and try something new. It’s time to jumpstart the innovation and imagination of our children because the status quo is no longer working.  Could video games be the answer? Maybe or maybe not, but hear me out.

Recently, Shigeru Miyamoto stated that his next major project is to get the Nintendo DS systems in schools to be used as a learning aid.  I know right, where were the DS’ when we were kids.  At first I was thinking how could games help these kids out with the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic, and then about 6 seconds later it dawned on me – What a brilliant idea (another one by Mr. Miyamoto I might add). 

Obviously, the DS offers many titles that can help anyone with their math and reading skills.  Two of Dr. Kawashima’s Brain Training games are actually included with the new DSiXL.  However, can you imagine what a school district can do if they required students to have a DS.  Math and reading exercise in digital form, electronic syllabuses so the parents and students can have a digital copy of the curriculum all school year, and a paperless school. 

I know all of these things are attempted by many schools across the country, however; most administrators are just thinking of implementing these plans by every student having a computer. 

Well, the reality is many students don’t have and cannot afford a computer.  Wouldn’t a gaming system that ranges from $130 to $190 be more affordable?  Also, the option of putting all the assignments on SanDisk cards – that sounds very affordable for many school districts who are stressed with updating technology and passing bonds in their districts to pay for it.

Another fact that supports this, about a year ago the University of Missouri – Colombia, one of the nation’s oldest journalism and prestigious journalism schools, changed a requirement for new student – an iPhone or iTouch.  The university has put all of their lectures on an application in iTunes University, for the thought that being able to hear a lecture two or three times will help the students retain the knowledge better. 

Also, how could it possibly hurt kids to play a copy of WarioWare D.I.Y.? If you haven’t gotten your kids a copy yet, you are missing out.  I wouldn’t mind having a new generation interested in creating games and being motivated to be innovative instead of just being consumers.

I’m just wondering, why does higher education have to be the only ones who attempt to be innovative with learning? Our kids are smarter than we were at their age and having more electronic devices can do nothing but help them.  Instead of many parents just ridiculing and finding faults with gaming, let’s try to find different ways to use it to better our society – and have some fun!

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