Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Education United States Games

New York's Video-Game-Based Public School 214

Posted by timothy
from the next-year-is-facebook-high dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In Manhattan this fall, a batch of lucky sixth-graders will start at Quest To Learn, the first public school in the US with a curriculum built around playing games. They'll play Spore and Civilization, board games such as Settlers of Catan, and learn 3D modeling in Maya and Google Earth as well. Each semester concludes with a two-week 'Boss Level.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

New York's Video-Game-Based Public School

Comments Filter:
  • Awesome (Score:5, Interesting)

    by explosivejared (1186049) * <hagan.jared@g m a i l .com> on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @05:16PM (#29447233)
    Let me be the first to say that this sounds awesome, and I have a very strong urge to attempt to try and enter the sixth grade again! I can't tell you how much I would have loved to have had the opportunity to be so fully engaged in grade school.

    Basically 90% of my public school education consisted of insufferable lectures with a worksheet at the end, and maybe if you're lucky a paper to discuss. Not until I got to the very end of high school did I get to engage in anything that wasn't essentially passive rote learning. Even the dual-enrollment/AP stuff I took relied soley on often dry discussion though, and had nothing on the proposed pedagogical model put forward by Q2L.

    I'm sure that my public school education is somewhat representative of the majority experience. I'm sure there is a lot of collective envy with stuff like this:

    A core goal of our pedagogy is to help students learn to reason about their world. Systemic reasoning, or the ability to see the world in terms of the many interrelated systems that make it up--from biological to political to technological and social--supports students in meeting this goal.Enduring understandings include:

    1. Understanding of feedback dynamics (i.e., reinforcing and balancing feedback loops): understanding that small level changes can affect macro-level processes.
    2. Understanding of system dynamics: understanding that multiple (i.e. dynamic) relationships within a system.
    3. Understanding hidden dimensions of a system: understanding that modifications to system elements can lead to changes that are not easily recognizable within a system.
    4. Understanding of the quality of relationships within a system: understanding when a system is working or not working at optimal levels.
    5. Homological understanding: understanding that similar system dynamics can exist in other systems that may appear to be entirely different.


    I would kill to be able to go back in time and have an education under people pushing such an enlightened philosophy.
    • Re:Awesome (Score:4, Funny)

      by Hognoxious (631665) on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @05:30PM (#29447445) Homepage Journal

      I have a very strong urge to attempt to try and enter the sixth grade again!

      So who are you - Gary Glitter or Phillip Garrido?

    • Re:Awesome (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Itninja (937614) on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @05:35PM (#29447519) Homepage
      I agree it sounds awesome. But you realized that had you had this education in your youth, your above post would have probably been more like: "W00T! This is teh awesome! All those n00bs who talk smack about it are totally FAGS!!!!"

      I kid of course, but your concise use of grammar, punctuation, etc indicates that your traditional education was not a total waste as you seem to paint it.
      • Re:Awesome (Score:4, Informative)

        by Korin43 (881732) on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @06:43PM (#29448277) Homepage
        Speaking from personal experience, my vocabulary and spelling skills come almost entirely from video games (MUDs) and books (and not the kind of books they assigned in school).
        • I have to agree - I'm pretty sure the bazillion novels I read as a kid helped my vocab and grammar along very nicely.

      • Re:Awesome (Score:5, Insightful)

        by blahplusplus (757119) on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @07:01PM (#29448449)

        "I kid of course, but your concise use of grammar, punctuation, etc indicates that your traditional education was not a total waste as you seem to paint it."

        I disagree, traditional education basically sucks the life out of kids. When we are kids there are a lot of cool things we want to do but we don't know how to go about doing them. I would have loved to have learned to program by someone leading us through the construction of small simple games and telling us why the hard boring stuff (like math) is important, kids want to accomlish their dreams and once they realize it takes hard stuff they will 1) Discipline themselves to do it (because they want to accomplish that cool goal) or 2) They will find an area more to their liking.

        There are those who have the persistance to work hard and there are those kids who don't, we do a disservice to the kids with big goals and dreams and not nurtering them.

        What I wouldn't give for someone like John carmack to write a book about learning to write small 2D games, etc, with feedback from those who had to learn the hardway (i.e. have insight on how to teacn and structure a lesson in terms of capturing kids interest).

        Kids want to learn stuff we just suck the joy out of learning because we don't give them cool things to work on that teach teh lesson that -- cool things require lots of hard boring stuff to accomplish but the end result is awesome.

        Now if we can ramp up this boring stuff by taking cool complex stuff and giving them access to chunks of stuff they can handle (i.e. take animation of cool things that blowup like say a car in burnout, and allow them to tweak matehmatical values to see the results they get)

        They can start seeing a direct feedback relationship between what they are learning and doing cool stuff.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by xdotx (966421)
          What you describe was my summer job two years in a row. https://projectfun.digipen.edu/workshops/courses/video-game-programming [digipen.edu]

          My favorite was teaching the level 2 course where I taught kids about making 2D sprite based games in C#. We basically give them a very simple 2D engine and then teach them all the programming and math required to move things around, detect collisions and perform general game logic. It's really fun to teach because I love programming and (almost) every kid there is very eager to
          • I wonder if they'd be open to posting lectures as well as coursework online, that would be a boon for people that don't live in the area.

            I would have so went for something like that when I was a kid, but that was pre-interent days.

        • Re:Awesome (Score:4, Insightful)

          by thrawn_aj (1073100) on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @11:35PM (#29450437)

          ... leading us through the construction of small simple games and telling us why the hard boring stuff (like math) is important.

          Kids want to learn stuff we just suck the joy out of learning because we don't give them cool things to work on that teach teh lesson that -- cool things require lots of hard boring stuff to accomplish but the end result is awesome.

          It's a good thing I didn't grow up with your definitions of "boring" and "cool". Your statement that math is important is laudable but it is deeply contaminated by the addenda that it is also hard and boring. From my point of view, computing is merely a quaint little example of how a teeny tiny fraction of most aesthetically superb* piece of ... magic is the only word for it ... created by the human race can be applied for purposes of relieving the human mind of repetitive calculations (and perhaps entertainment).

          Teaching with the attitude I inferred from your post (and please correct me if my inference was in error) would simply create a bunch of superficial coders. I've seen firsthand the results of "real-world numerical" teaching styles taken to the extreme in (for instance) early physics education. It prevents students from seeing some of the grandest mysteries ever encountered and how our scientific ancestors frakking solved them instead of just staring stupidly at them. Imparting (among other things of course) the magnificence of the intersection of mathematics and reality (especially in everyday situations) should be one of the critical goals of science education.

          Now, of course I wouldn't advocate that teaching philosophy in a college level programming course - you're there to learn to code, not contemplate mathematical mysteries :P. But we're discussing pre-college stuff. Rarely does one see any but the most superficial math in programming courses and that's fine. What I object to is actually institutionalizing that weird attitude. It's like the difference between a stripper and a ballet dancer - in one case, the details of the music aren't all that important ;).

          Just because the current way of teaching is not the best way doesn't mean that "cool" should be the new standard for good education :P. Cool is fine for kiddies, mature children should be introduced to the concept of "profound" as soon as possible. The horrible way we do it now grants the senile old farts a monopoly over it and that's just stupid.

          _______________________
          *imho ofc :P

          • Re:Awesome (Score:4, Insightful)

            by blahplusplus (757119) on Thursday September 17, 2009 @03:38AM (#29451445)

            "It's a good thing I didn't grow up with your definitions of "boring" and "cool". Your statement that math is important is laudable but it is deeply contaminated by the addenda that it is also hard and boring."

            You have to understand that for most many kids it is a boring subject because they can't see the relevance of it in their daily lives, even though they know it's important for certain jobs, many kids simply wont' learn to love learning about math if it is not handled well by who-ever's teaching it. I'm absolutely sure math education is handled badly in many places (from my own experience).

            Now it's not that math is necessarily boring but it IS how it is taught that gives kids the perception that math is hard and boring.

            Trust me on this one I'd argue with you that current mathematicians and mathematics teachers have not approached the teaching math correclty in many regards, I know this because I had to go about learning certain how to observe the world first using more basic principles before one even gets to symbolic computation.

            I know because I came across debates and alternative framings of mathematics in my travels such as:

            http://www.symmetryperfect.com/ [symmetryperfect.com]

            Youd' never learn in school that you were taught math was only one group of men's way of viewing mathematics.

            Also check out Mayan numerals here:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mayan_numerals [wikipedia.org]

            There are many ways to frame mathematical concepts in better ways that give one a better conceptual foundation on how to observe and conceive mathematically before one even does any kind of computation.

            Take myself for instance: Most of my thought is entirely visual, i.e. geometric, graphic.

            My weakness is juggling symbols, therefore I have a preference for visualizing numbers as objects interacting physically to understand something.

            Things like graphs, charts, shapes, models, figures are better fit then teaching raw equations out of a textbook for me, this is why I had such a frustrating time with mathematics.

            I'm currently doing original research and hope to compile it into a book so others can see that math is much deeper then anyone has yet thought of.

            I respect those in the profession and do not deny their great achievements and contributions but they do not have a monopoly on the truth about mathematics or how something can be seen radically differently from how matehmatics has been tradtionally structured.

      • Question is (because as usual, it's NOT black and white): How much worse would it have been? Enough to matter? Under what definition of bad? That of a grammar Nazi, or that of a practical thinking person? :)

    • Re:Awesome (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Shin-LaC (1333529) on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @06:00PM (#29447817)
      Really. I had an easy time at school and got excellent grades with very little effort, but that just made me lazy and unused to working hard on things I'm not particularly interested in. At the same time, I'm grateful for all knowledge the school system did manage to cram into my mind. Looking back, I only with it had made me work even harder: I'd have more knowledge, better skills, and I'd be used to working harder to boot.

      In other words, I might have loved to go to video game school as a child, but as an adult I would hate to have gone to it.
      • by keepper (24317)

        It's interesting to hear this, coming from someone that had a similar experience.

        I've always wondered whether my self perceived lazyness was a product of my personality, or the fact that I had such an easy time in K-12.

        ( Then again, in what am interested in, i'm FAR from lazy... )

      • I relate to what you say, I had the same thing going on in school for me. It made it hard for me once I got to the university cause then I really had to work and study for it. And now that I'm done with both, if they made me choose, I'd go back to the university. It was a hundred times more difficult, but it made it more rewarding when I got good grades.
    • by mikael (484)

      But how would you have learned all of that? Would you have been made to write essays about these subjects, create a poster with glue, scissors and hand-colored diagrams (alternatively use Powerpoint), write a biography of the researchers, go on school outings to museums and mathematical institutions, or given class assignments to complete real-world experiments or write programs to demonstrate each of these concepts?

      Each of these is a valid method of teaching, though to a geek the latter three would probabl

    • by westlake (615356)

      Games - by definition - first have to succeed as games.

      You want to see compelling game play and the emergence of relatively simple - clearly defined strategies - the path to victory.

      Real life holds surprises.

      Expanding trade opens the door to lethal pandemics like the Black Plague.

      Building the monument - the Pyramid, The Cathedral of Notre Dame, The Golden Gate Bridge, The Great Wall of China - is fun. But do you really understand its significance? Your time might be better spent watching a rerun of Mulan.

      • Re:Awesome (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Capsaicin (412918) on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @08:47PM (#29449315)

        Building the monument - the Pyramid, The Cathedral of Notre Dame, The Golden Gate Bridge, The Great Wall of China - is fun. But do you really understand its significance?

        If you don't -go and find out!

        My 6 and 8 year old have recently started playing CivIV. While it would be overstating the case to say that their interest in learning has been entirely sparked by the exclusively by the game (the 6 year old was already obsessed with all things Ancient Egypt), these kind of wonders especially have resulted in greater attention being paid to the kind of History documentaries I like to expose them to. Last week they watched a show called "Great Wonders of the Islamic World" with the kind of attention that was previously reserved for StarWars, TMNT, and David Attenborough Nature docos. The 6 year old is extending his obsession to Aztecs (they have pyramids too!) as a result of this game.

        This has demonstrated very clearly to me that at least some games (well at least Civilization), have a valuable role to play in fostering involvement with younger children. This is not to say that education should consist solely of electronic game-playing.

    • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

      I bet I played more video games when I was in grad school than these kids do. And today, PhD in hand, I am ranked #2473 in the world in Burnout Paradise!

      I tell the kids in my class this and they think I'm screwing with them. Little do they know...

      • by melikamp (631205)
        Sir, I salute you and vow to do the same for Diablo 3. Unless it sucks. Which it won't.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      Although I am not an educator, this discussion is so badly in need of a dose of reality that I feel I must speak up.

      I was once asked to sit in on the education division's monthly meeting. The meeting was an eye opener for me. More than being open to the idea of changing how we teach, they were actively pursuing those ideas in live teaching environments. Here's a few of the ideas they were investigating: afterschool club activities, in-class workshops, hands-on activities with real science equipment, pers
  • Misguided at best (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @05:24PM (#29447363)

    I like playing games more than most, but this is another poor attempt to make learning "fun". I see this problem at all levels of public education and it is fundamentally flawed. Instead of pandering to the attitude that learning isn't fun, more effort should be made to instill a different attitude towards learning. "Tricking" students into thinking they aren't being taught is never going to inspire the next great scientist or artist. Achievement requires hard work and we should not pretend otherwise and we should certainly not teach that notion to students.

    • by DarkOx (621550)

      I think you are spot on. If anything students need to learn that learning is not fun, studying is not palatable and it all takes work. Then they need to learn how much fun it is to take some newly acquired knowledge and apply it to the creation or execution of something they could not do before. I say make the sixth graders sit through a lecture or two in physical science class on Bernoulli principle. Let them learn a few basic algebraic equations, and then they get to build a glider.

      • If anything students need to learn that learning is not fun, studying is not palatable and it all takes work.

        Why? Though it takes work, learning certainly can be fun.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by selven (1556643)
      Making learning fun is when you teach people how awesome calculus actually is. This is making fun learning.
  • So... (Score:5, Funny)

    by jellomizer (103300) on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @05:24PM (#29447367)

    What they will get is the Ancient Egyptians made nuclear weapons. Sheep can be traded for Bricks, The success of evolution is based on the intelligence of the designer, with the attempt to zoom into the beaches in Brazil. Well I guess that is as good as american Education gets. You not really raising the bar. But the kids get the same education and have fun at it.

    • Sheep really can be traded for bricks.
      • Sheep really can be traded for bricks.

        Until you find out that the other guy wanted to give you sheep and accept bricks, not vice versa, and that you handed him two sheep and he handed you two sheep and you're both left sitting there saying "What the fuck?" to each other. Then the guy who's got a city on a brick 6/wood 8 junction and has built the goddamn Great Wall of Catan out of roads so you can't GET to the bricks anymore starts laughing....

    • Re:So... (Score:5, Funny)

      by PotatoFarmer (1250696) on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @05:35PM (#29447523)

      ...Sheep can be traded for Bricks...

      Q: What did the one Scotsman say to the other Scotsman while they were playing Settlers of Catan?

      A: I've got Wood for Sheep!

      Thank you, thank you. I'll be here all week. Try the ve^H^Hlamb!

      • Q:What's the difference between a Scotsman and a Rolling Stone?

        A:The Rolling Stone says "Hey you, get off of my cloud!" - the Scotsman says "Hey McCloud, get off of my sheep!"

      • I hate to correct your racial slur without pointing out the inherent evil embodied by such blatent stereotyping, but actually it's the Welsh that love to shag sheep.
    • Re:So... (Score:4, Funny)

      by nebaz (453974) on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @05:56PM (#29447769)

      Ancient Egyptians didn't make nuclear weapons, silly. They made stargates.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @05:27PM (#29447399)
    This sounds like the type of "course" designed by lobby groups and their corporate masters not to actually educate children, or at least not as that term has been classically understood, but rather to indoctrinate the next generation of mindless consumers who don't ask questions and don't think too much. This is just one of many factors contributing to the continuing general decline of American public education. They might as well have them play America's Army or Modern Warfare, at least then we can begin their training early.
  • Skills For Life (Score:2, Insightful)

    by hattig (47930)

    If you want to be unemployed playing games in a basement.

    What's wrong with maths, english and science these days?

  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has mandated that American medical schools must incorporate training using surgery simulation devices [wikipedia.org] for all aspiring surgeons.
  • what crap... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @05:33PM (#29447491)

    This is the legacy of No Child Left Behind... We've dumbed education down to the lowest common denominator. There are fewer and fewer gifted programs. Everyone's straight-jacketed into the same curriculum at the same pace, and should someone demonstrate superior intelligence they're practically punished for it because it might harm some other precious snowflake's self-esteem to know! Net result -- kids don't try as hard, so standards slip and slip and slip, to adjust to the new low point. Video games -- Seriously. You know, it used to be a treat to get a movie in class and it was read, read, read. It was all about reading. Nowadays it's all about learning via glowing rectangles.

    Sad.

    • by brkello (642429)
      Interactive video games could be a very useful tool for education if done correctly.

      I think you read a little too much Ayn Rand or something. No child left behind certainly sucks, but I don't see it advocating policies of punishing children for being too smart.
    • Re:what crap... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @06:03PM (#29447841) Homepage Journal
      I'm sorry but I fail to see how the topic mentioned in the article (yes I read it, no I am not new here) has to do with schools succumbing to the 'make everybody equal mindset.' Granted, the program is an attempt to educate kids through the use of video games. But just because video games are very popular amongst kids doesn't mean there is some connection between this program and trying to make every single kid equal. I would assert, however, that implementing a program like this. which gives kids more freedom in how to learn (different choices in video games, different approaches to problem solving, etc.). would probably help those kids with superior intelligence and problem solving skills shine more.

      Forgive me if I am treading on your lawn but frankly, the school system as it stands now is a broken piece of shit (which you seem to agree with). Currently we stuff kids into a room, unload an unending string of partially garbled speech at them (through teachers that can hardly make sense of their own thoughts), and expect them to absorb it all like a sponge. Then we ask them to barf the crap they just heard back onto papers in an automaton fashion so that they can be rewarded with a pat on the head in the form of good grades. It's ridiculous, stifling, and completely fails to teach children how to learn (it succeeds very well in teaching them to accept what they are told though).

      The program described in the article, while it may end up failing or may end up succeeding (I don't know which), is at least an attempt to break free of that massively screwed system. It puts the children in a technologically immersed learning environment (that alone should pay off in an ever-increasingly technologically linked world) and gives them the opportunity to approach education in a way that makes sense to them (with guidance from their teachers). This not only gives them a chance to try new things in a safe environment (last I checked kids don't get hurt from video games), but it also gives them a chance to approach problems and knowledge by a means that works for them. That freedom and that freedom alone makes this program worth observing and not just dismissing out of hand.

      Furthermore, it appears that the games and programs kids will use to do their schoolwork vary from fun games to practical computer programs such as Adobe flash. As the article and summary both point out, these will give them a tech saviness that is lacking in kids these days. It gives them a chance to approach what are normally boring things for young kids (ancient Babylonian poetry) through a fun and creative medium (develop your own graphic novel) which could give them an intimate knowledge of something that most kids would just sleep through in normal school.

      Don't get me wrong, I am as embittered as anyone that my own education was a patterned succession of memorizing crap right up until college, but that doesn't mean that I am going to slam any alternative education model that comes along just because I feel like it. Frankly, this idea is one worth pursuing if for no other reason to see if it works or not. If it doesn't, hopefully a better program will come along that will. Until then however, I have to say that I think this program deserves a little more inspection than, "What Crap."
    • Re:what crap... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Chris Burke (6130) on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @06:04PM (#29447853) Homepage

      This is the legacy of No Child Left Behind... We've dumbed education down to the lowest common denominator. There are fewer and fewer gifted programs. Everyone's straight-jacketed into the same curriculum at the same pace

      No, it's much worse than that. We always had essentially the same curriculum for everyone if your school couldn't afford "gifted" courses, and most schools couldn't for more than maybe a couple subjects -- e.g one elementary school I went to had "advanced" math, but not science, history, english or anything else, so if your "gift" involved something other than math, tough luck!

      The problem with No Child Left Behind is that the curriculum now revolves entirely, 100%, around passing the stupid tests. Teachers don't teach anymore, they train and coach in how to pass tests. They don't teach things the test doesn't cover. They don't teach the principles, they teach the technique needed to pass the test. Because they can't afford to do anything else or they'll risk losing money and then whatever few interesting programs they have left will be gone.

      It'd be one thing if it was an actual education based on the lowest common denominator. But it's not even that good. Ever cram for an exam where you didn't care at all about the subject, you only cared about passing the exam, because if you didn't pass the exam your GPA would drop and you'd lose your financial aid? Was that the best learning experience? Now imagine your professor had exactly the same motivation. That's what No Child Left Behind has done to our education.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by i.r.id10t (595143)

        To be fair, teaching to the test is an OK thing to do.... assuming the test is any good.

        For more fairness, the various tests pretty much suck, so your point is valid (and I don't have a windmill in my beard)

        • by Chris Burke (6130)

          To be fair, teaching to the test is an OK thing to do.... assuming the test is any good.

          For more fairness, the various tests pretty much suck, so your point is valid (and I don't have a windmill in my beard)

          No, it's a fair point, it's just that a national standardized multiple-choice test, combined with a proverbial Sword of Damocles over the entire school for failing to meet test standards, is not an environment where teaching to the test is going to result in a healthy education.

    • Ever watch a 6-year-old learn to read from a rabid desire to play Pokemon? There's more than one way to skin a cat.
    • I somehow think this is a problem that came before NCLB (2002). I'm pretty certain that NCLB was trying to fix the public schools, which implies that the problem went back significantly before NCLB.
    • by Jaysyn (203771)
      This would have probably been something that we did in our Gifted classes if we had ready access to more PCs. That being said, we *did* use SimCity as a learning tool in my 10th & 11th grade business classes. This was in 1994 mind you.
  • Sex Ed (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Manfre (631065) on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @05:38PM (#29447565) Homepage Journal

    Will sex ed get taught with porn?

    • Will sex ed get taught with porn?

      What? Don't be stupid. No self-respecting video game based public school would dare resort to something as vile and debased as a porn movie!

      It'll be taught with hentai Flash games off Newgrounds, of course!!

    • by Macgrrl (762836)

      we all know porn is not a game - it's a vocation.

  • Of course the impulsive child in me is all thumbs and fingers and even a few toes up for this. However, in the long haul I have to question how far you'll get on this kind of content. There is a lot of games that can certainly teach things, but they only have so much to teach and then they're just a game. I suppose, at the very least, it will be an interesting experiment, just not so sure I'd want to be the parent of the kids participating in said experiment.
  • Wonderful - a new generation of special snowflakes who will grow up expecting to be pandered to and for everything to be 'fun'. They'll have a rude awakening when they discover how fun mopping the floor at McTGIBurger at midnight is.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by AP31R0N (723649)

      You don't even have to look to McJobs. Most professional jobs also have some drudgery (which is part of why we're paid to do them).

      However, it might be nice to see if this sort of learning could cause a cultural shift that might alleviate that drudgery. Hrm.

      When i was in a self paced program i was almost a full year ahead of my peers. When i went back to the regular school system i was a D student. i wonder what i could have done in a system that accommodated me.

      • However, it might be nice to see if this sort of learning could cause a cultural shift that might alleviate that drudgery. Hrm.

        We can already see the effects of ongoing attempts to make learning 'fun' and 'relevant'. We don't need to turn ideas known to be stupid up to 11.

        When i was in a self paced program i was almost a full year ahead of my peers. When i went back to the regular school system i was a D student. i wonder what i could have done in a system that accommodated me.

        It's not how

    • Don't worry. Robots will be taking those jobs long before they get there.
      • by sowth (748135) *

        You would think, but we have the technology now for robots to take all the McJobs, yet they have not done so. It is a shame. It would eliminate the need for a slave caste.

  • Spore? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shimmer (3036) <brianberns@gmail.com> on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @05:55PM (#29447763) Homepage Journal

    My kids play Spore. It looks like an entertaining game with no relation to reality whatsoever. If they use it to teach evolution (or anything about biology, really), I would pull my kid out the next day. It's pure fantasy - nothing wrong with that, but it doesn't belong in a science class.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by u38cg (607297)
      From what I've previously read [economist.com] I think commentators are emphasising the gameplay side of it without really explaining the educational theory underpinning it. The more relevant point - to me - is that traditional subject boundaries are removed allowing a single "lesson" to range widely, while allowing the freedom to zoom in on relevant material. The gaming side of it is just how the teaching content is delivered.
  • by Joe The Dragon (967727) on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @06:02PM (#29447837)

    will the systems even have gpu / cpu power for this or will they be trying to do this with low systems with POS intel gma video? amd + ati on board video is a little better but not real good for trying to do any real gameing and civ 4 is a real cpu + gpu hog.

  • GO AMERICA! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Down the shitter, of course.

  • by Domini (103836) <lailoken@gmail.com> on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @06:19PM (#29447999) Journal

    ...they can play "Try to find work in a struggling world economy competing against foreign jobseekers with real educations"

    I'm not saying that all students will fall flat... the ones that are bright and feel that school is easy will not have a problem.
    It's possible they will even excel.

    It's the majority of lazy students that will suffer.

  • Spore? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Kenoli (934612) on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @06:25PM (#29448057)
    The only thing Spore can teach someone is terrible game design.
    • by selven (1556643)
      You forgot creationism. All hail the true god... a 13 year old in his mother's basement!
    • You forgot the important lesson called "defective by design" :D

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by u38cg (607297)
      Do, please, enlighten us with the details o games you have designed that have sold in excess of a million copies...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @07:24PM (#29448627)

    Uhm, gentlemen... Do you guys really think that this will somehow make homework fun?
    "Your assignment due next Friday is to beat Xenogears [60+ hours easily], and write a 5 page report on the aspects of yadda yadda yadda."
    If being forced to play the game doesn't kill the fun, the deadlines and summary reports certainly will.
    Games are fun because they are an escape from reality. Turning them into work will kill them.

  • Facepalm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 4D6963 (933028) on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @08:52PM (#29449345)

    I don't know which is worse, that anyone can be dumb enough to actually make that happen, or that it would garner our praise. In our defence, Slashdot is full of people who think that education should be all about learning to think. That's utter bullshit, learning to think is only one aspect of education, and as a matter of fact it's more a by-product of "learning things". School is for learning basic knowledge and basic skills, like reading, counting, writing, or knowing about ancient Greece or being able to put Belgium or the Potomac River on a map. So, learning multiplication by reciting look-up tables isn't fun? Well tough luck, cause you need that in life, and that's not by making homoerotic monsters in Spore that you'll learn that. Just stop with the experimental education, good education doesn't need innovation, lots of kids 100 years ago received a better education than most of your offsprings ever will.

    Disclaimer, I went to private school in France, I know what receiving a decent education is like. How do you think my English became this good, by learning critical thinking? More like by being forced to learn lists of irregular verbs.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by u38cg (607297)
      Some kids got a fantastic education 100 years ago. We only know about the ones who made it. Most were thrown on the scrapheap once they could read or write. Today, we have a vastly better educated populace than we have ever had, and there is plenty more potential there. As for your experience, you went to school with a bunch of cosmopolitan, well off, middle-class kids. You should be holding yourself to a different standard than the average output of the French school system.
      • Re:Facepalm (Score:4, Interesting)

        by 4D6963 (933028) on Thursday September 17, 2009 @02:46AM (#29451241)

        Some kids got a fantastic education 100 years ago. We only know about the ones who made it. Most were thrown on the scrapheap once they could read or write. Today, we have a vastly better educated populace than we have ever had, and there is plenty more potential there.

        It's not the point. The point is that innovation is irrelevant to good education.

        As for your experience, you went to school with a bunch of cosmopolitan, well off, middle-class kids. You should be holding yourself to a different standard than the average output of the French school system.

        Too bad you have no idea what you're talking about. Private schools there are nothing like private schools in America, and actually there's not a lot of differences with public schools in terms of results (actually private schools are typically Catholic, whereas public schools cannot be, so where you go depends on how religious your parents are. Or how much they loathe Muslims. Although once again this has nothing in common with Catholic schools in North America, and there's not much difference in education style or curriculum with public schools). In France what really makes a difference is where you live. If it's in a ZEP [wikipedia.org] then you'll get a shitty education. Otherwise everybody does about as good.

  • "Good morning class, today's topic is the evolution of European imperialism. Please load up King's Quest I, V, and VI."
  • these kids sue the school for millions of $$ for being unhirable due to not knowing shit about the world. so yeah, good plan!

In order to get a loan you must first prove you don't need it.

Working...