Print 72 comment(s) - last by tastyratz.. on Jun 14 at 12:34 PM

Think of the children: Marlene Perrotte are taking up the good fight against video games where Jack Thompson left off. She and other parents in Albuquerque are fighting an educational math videogame which they claim is making children victims of "addiction" and exposing them to "violent" content like jetpacks.  (Source: KOAT-TV)
"What they recall is not the prime number ... but rather getting through to the enemy" -- concerned parent

Video games have their perpetual enemies -- poor adaptation, perverts, and slipping release deadlines.  However, perhaps the most insidious foe of video games is the perennial cry to ban games because they are too "violent", too "addictive", or feature too many "adult themes."

Albuquerque, New Mexico fell victim to this familiar foe when it tried to educate children using a mathematics-themed video game.  The local schools received a Department of Defense grant to deploy Tabula Digital's DimensionM to local schools, to help bump up children's math test scores.

Tabula Digital describes the game as having "all the action and adventure of commercial-quality video games while practicing and reinforcing the skills they need to succeed in math."  One middle school teacher called it "a 21st century flash card... They can use jetpacks and at the same time they have to know what the associative property is."

Not all local parents are as impressed, though.  Some are leading a crusade to see the game banned.  KOAT-TV, a local TV station, has been covering the bizarre protests.  One parent, Marlene Perrotte, comments, "We are feeding the addiction of these children to video games.  They were all excited, and they were excited because of the violence -'I'm getting ahead, I'm getting ahead, I'm getting ahead.'"

In a furor that would make even Jack Thompson proud, she raves, "What they recall is not the prime number ... but rather getting through to the enemy!"

Thus far, Albuquerque schools have no plans to drop the educational title amid the apparent outrage of a handful of parents.  DimensionM will continue to keep kids addicted -- to learning mathematics.  And that might just be a pretty great thing, considering math competency worldwide has been slipping.

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RE: Meh
By moriz on 6/8/2010 3:47:23 PM , Rating: 3
i agree that rote memorization of simple math is important. i emigrated from china in my 3rd grade, and i remember making my canadian math teacher's jaw drop when i started doing math problems in my head faster than kids punching them out on calculators. back in china, we were routinely required to do 50 math questions in 3 minutes, no calculators allowed; not even scrap paper. we weren't even allowed to write on the tests' margins. this is apparently something unheard of here in north america.

another thing: class sizes do not necessarily coorelate to education quality. class sizes in china are typically over 50 kids, yet china has a higher quality of education than the US. the teachers get paid a whole lot less, even adjusting for cost of living. what's different is that teachers in china are paid according to their performance: the better the students do on tests, the more the teacher is paid. as far as i know, this isn't the case here in north america. maybe it's time to adopt such a system.

RE: Meh
By kattanna on 6/9/2010 12:39:52 PM , Rating: 2
one of the big differences between north america and china is that in china education is seen as a way to better yourself.

here, it is seen as a burden that gets in the way of having fun and socializing.

RE: Meh
By Keeir on 6/9/2010 6:20:33 PM , Rating: 2
Well, I think there are numerous difference

#1. Parental Involvement is significantly higher
#2. Academics is placed higher than Athletics/Social Activities
#3. Teachers typically are given much greater authority
#4. Selection Pressures begin much sooner
#5. Shame is used extensively (Scores are often posted publically)

china has a higher quality of education than the US

Whoa there. The Chinese education system turns out a large number of students capable of reguritating facts and performing calculations. These have thier place... but there are alot of other measurements of "quality" of education.

maybe it's time to adopt such a system.

There are some good aspects of China's system. There are some bad aspects however:
Public Posting of Scores (Shame)
Acceptence of Abusive Teachers
Stunting of late development
Stunting of development in other aspects of Life (Art, Music, Community Service, Athletics, etc)

RE: Meh
By icanhascpu on 6/10/2010 9:03:52 AM , Rating: 2
I remember in 3rd grade having to do 50-100 math questions in some few min as well. But I have the feeling you were doing multiplication and possible square roots and such so Im not boasting.

That was fun though.


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