A school in New York City is choosing to find out if they can use videogames as an educational tool. According to Gamepolitics, Quest 2 Learn in Manhattan is planning to institute games such as Spore and LittleBigPlanet into its academic curriculum, along with Photoshop, Maya and Google Earth. The school, whose plans are expanded on here, wants to include traditional board games as well.
I hope this plan succeeds, as it will go a long way towards proving that videogames can be used as a credible means of helping students achieve success. I also hope that this plan gains traction and its curricula finds its way into more and more academic programs.
Perhaps my hopes for this program can best be explained by Katie Salen, a Professor of Design at Parsons and Executive Director of the Institute of Play. It was her non-profit organization that came up with the idea, “There has been a cultural shift in the past few years. Parents and teachers recognize a kind of engagement children have with games and digital media that could lead to a new way of learning.”