One school in New York City is on its way toward a revolution. This experiment in education is called “Quest for Learning”, and the idea behind is is using gaming literacy to teach to today’s video game generation. If everything goes according to schedule, the 6th-12th grade school will open in Fall 2009.
There is a lot in the description of what is involved in gaming literacy, that I can’t comprehend, even after a second or third read of the overview. But the gist seems to be that kids work collaboratively to solve problems, brainstorm solutions, and think out of the box to create innovative ideas (much like those who work on today’s most popular video games).
This idea has already been fueling video game creation camps at different university campuses for several summers now. More and more preteens and teens are heading to these technological camps instead of heading out to the great outdoors to learn how to pitch tents and sing campfire songs. I guess it only makes sense that the camps would give way to an entire school built around the premise of gaming design.
(I just can’t tell you how many memories the PacMan song on that video brought back!!!)
And in an era where school life and real life (and all its technological advances) probably seem more polarized than ever, it might be that video game schools are one way to keep a percentage of students engaged in their education. More and more kids are feeling the uselessness of pencil pushing to learn names, dates, and facts when they already have picked up (on their own) several foreign languages (HTML, Java, CSS), shorthand (texting), and advanced math skills (I’ve seen the math my son uses to program a simple Flash game, and it ain’t 2+2!). Knowledge is at the fingertips, literally, of those kids who use the computer for hours each day, and can instantly download information in a few seconds flat.
So the vocational schools of yesterday may soon give way to a new generation of vocational learning – – learning of the techie kind. If you want to find out more about the Quest for Learning initiative, check out their web site.
So what do you think? Is this going too far with technology? Would you allow your kids to attend a school like this one?