So we finally moved into the gaming era, albeit quite late, with the acquisition of a wii over the holiday. The girls are quite the dancers and bowlers already! That got me thinking what are we doing with gaming in our schools? I will assume you hear about the interesting things they do with World of Warcraft in Pender County, North Carolina. Lots of teaching of history, math, and science using a popular role playing game. How about a school that uses gaming exclusively as their curriculum, as in the Quest for Learning School in Manhattan? And now we see many schools offering video game development using Microsoft’s XNA Game Studio (ok, so it’s Microsoft) through Computer Programming courses in their Career-Technical Programs.
I love all of this! Why do we continue to think we need to prepare students for taking on huge debt for four years of college they probably mostly will never use. Yes, we still need doctors and lawyers, but if a high school grad can design a game or an app and make a decent salary, why does this upset us? I have seen time and again students design Apple or Android apps, sell them for $0.99 a piece and make awesome crazy money. Why do we not want this? In programming you need logic. You need math, especially in the spatial sense. Problem solving. So many skills. Let’s move more and more in this direction. Higher Ed will feel threatened, surely, but they also need to change with the time. Maybe 1 or 2 year programs to further a student’s knowledge. Don’t stick them in a 4 year program and take electives that have no relevance to their program. Yes, they may lose some money, but that’s the way of the world!