School of gaming to open in New York

A new public school is to open in New York next month, which will use video games and software packages such as LittleBigPlanet and Maya to teach its pupils, as well as board and card games.

Named Quest To Learn, and funded by non-profit organisation Institute of Play, the idea is that children will find it easier and more enjoyable to learn from the interactive experience provided by games. However the school will still have to meet the same requirements as any other New York school, so traditional math and English lessons haven't just disappeared.

A look at the sample curriculum reveals the use of familiar games and applications such as LittleBigPlanet, Fl0w, Spore, Flash, Photoshop, Maya and Google Earth.

According to Metropolis Magazine, the school is even going to use gaming structure and terminology. Each child in a class of 20 to 25 will have access to a laptop and will attend four 90-minute sessions a day devoted to "domains" like "Codeworlds" (math and English), "The Way Things Work" (math and science) and "Being, Space and Place" (history and geography), rather than studying individual subjects. Each of these "domains" will end with a test that is aptly called a "Boss Level."

Quest To Learn will only be taking on sixth graders when it opens next month, but expects to grow annually.

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Oh, just wonderful. With people getting dimmer every day, I think there are far more important things for our education system to be focusing on...

Games have been around a long time -- centuries in fact -- & they've been & are used to teach. In all that time games have remained a relatively small part of how people learn, obviously for a reason -- if it worked better than other methods, it would have taken over long ago.

While what they're trying is obviously an experiment, the part I don't like is that they're not telling us *Why*. What do they hope to learn from this -- not the kids, but the people behind it? Intel for example is contributing money... are they interested in better training methods for tech people, something that might lead to a marketing edge, increasing PC use etc?

They sell it as being just for the kids' benefit, in part at least because how many parents would volunteer their children to be Guinna Pigs? But where is the data? Their site's Research Library features mostly magazine articles -- not scientific studies. And at a time when by far the majority of the education community worldwide is trying to limit kids' PC & console gaming. Maybe this is just for a marketing *push back*? Maybe this leads to a line of software for home schooling? However you look at it, trading your kids' education so they can be unpaid beta testers is most likely not in their best interests.

I agree with you 100%. The education system is broken in so many ways... I want to know exactly how they expect it to improve from this "experiment". I don't see it happening. There is much more they need to do.

This is why you never give people what they say they want. It ALWAYS approaches lowest common denominator. (Think of TV, movies, music.) The kids may think it is cool now but when they enroll in a non-gaming university, they will have quite a culture shock.

The issue is that the only people who would contemplate sending their kids to the school will only have virtual kids from playing The Sims.

these kids are going to create spectacular CGI (if that's not spectacular already) and GUIs for tomorrow's hardware. and since such things will be spent in the classroom they might actually have a physical social life too!

Brammie2118 said,
Because of evolution?
When you don't like the methods a school uses, don't put your kids there.. isn't it just that simple?


you'd think it was but parents like to put kids into situations like that just to complain about it...

"School of gaming" made me think it was a school teaching gaming/how to make games...
But this is a school of learning from game like tools.

I mean I believe it because we use Second Life at our university as a teaching tool, and I get to build the stuff