A School Where Kids Are Taught Through Video Games

Last September, the Quest to Learn school opened in New York. Its aim? To educate kids almost entirely though the use of video games.

There are 72 students at the school, which uses games, game design and game programming to teach children almost everything they'd traditionally have learnt from books.

"Games are exceptionally good at engaging kids," Quests' Katie Salen says. "They drop kids into complex problems where they fail and fail, but they try again and again." Which gives them one over regular school problems, where many kids try, fail, then don't try again.

It's hoped that the current crop of students can continue to be educated via games throughout high school, though they will still have to take New York's mandatory, standardised tests, same as everyone else.

Quest is the culmination of almost three years worth of work, which first began in 2007 when Salen and the Institute of Play were awarded $US1.1 million in funding from the MacArthur Foundation.

[via PopSci]


    hope it works, otherwise i cant imagine how damaging it can be to the kids development. Is this an experimental kind of education?

    Well life is kind of like a video game... without the respawns.

    Trust me, kids learn nothing from "edutainment".

    I study education and have read numerous research papers and essays on the effects of video games on children. There is no conclusion whether they serve as a negative or positive impact. The fact of the matter is that it's purely immoral to do conclusive tests on children to see whether or not there is an impact.

    There is no denying that video games captivate children. While I agree that most 'edutainment' games are boring and have no substance (or storyline in cases), if there was a company who was able to incorporate the 'fun' aspect of gaming into and educational tool would that not be the epitome of education?

    After all we all learn through one or a combination of the seven learning styles: visual, audio, verbal, physical, logical, social, and solitary. Games utilize all of these aspects (social is questionable due to single player games).

    Setting up an educational game that children enjoy and also assists as a teaching tool is one of my dreams. As a gamer I am a little bias but I can attribute some of my learning directly from playing games namely episodic memory (from repeatedly playing levels). I can't see how this wouldn't work...

    Great work Quest to Play!

    What is the key difficulty teachers have in teaching students? A lack of interest. People learn better when they are interested than any other situation. They are excited but not tense. They get a real sense of achievement and relevance.
    When we are learning in a school like situation we generally don't have a lot of endorphins floating about. Start playing a game? Wow, it's like fireworks.

    Current education systems are a piece of shit anyway, and I applaud anybody attempting to change our societies archaic, mind numbing schools.

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