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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 tastyratz on 6/8/2010 3:47:38 PM , Rating: 1
Just because others set the bar low does not make ours sufficient or good enough. We really DON'T in general put as much towards education as we should- even if the rest fail to realize that more so than us.
I do however agree with you that funds are mismanaged but that's a generalized topic...

to OP's above myself:

While much of the educational system involves memorization of stupid facts there are certain things that really do need to be memorized in rudimentary entry subjects. Basic math functionality is one of them.

Video games enable us to teach in ways we never could and I HIGHLY embrace them educationally. We all know you learn more when you want to and your interested, what better way than to provide a fun method to experience learning at an accelerated rate?

Original op:
Sure I would love to romanticize the idea of all teachers employed being true enthusiastic educators, but I live in the real world and realize the majority of them are not. To educate the kids with the other 90% of teachers I am all for whatever it takes to get them interested in learning.

It is sad that reality puts us here but I also in part blame teacher unions. To me they are like the UAW. Nothing irritates me more than seeing a REAL educator let go because of tenor. An incentive program would make a lot more sense.

Personally I would like to see teachers base salary dropped and a new program put in place where they get paid x amount of bonus based on performance levels of their class in a standardized test in comparison to that districts average mean. Those who have students that excel in the subject are rewarded for ACTUALLY TEACHING.
But alas, that's just me romanticizing an idea that would never come to fruition.


RE: Meh
By Varkyl on 6/9/2010 12:20:27 PM , Rating: 2
The problem with pay based on a standardized test is the teachers will then just teach to the standardized tests. So the kids will be worse off than they are now.

Two of the biggest issues with schools right now are:
1. The lack of discipline in the student body. And this comes from the lack of discipline in the home.
2. When the teachers have to get the parents permission in order to fail a student we are bound for failure in the school system. Because the majority of parents won't let their "little Johny" fail. After all, it is unpossible that their child could fail.


RE: Meh
By tastyratz on 6/14/2010 12:34:44 PM , Rating: 2
well yes and no,
A standardized test based on curriculum adherence and a randomized question pool that changes year to year on that could avoid it. One could alone argue teaching to the test if they don't know the exact questions would be curriculum adherence. I am sure a little tweaking or taking the idea to run with could at the hopeful least provide for better results than now.

I do agree with you on the issues you suggest as well. Bad parenting is reigning in and excuses are abound. No one seems to want to hold a child accountable for his or her failures. Don't get me started on "participation awards" that reward a child for not being good enough with comfort in knowing its OK to not be the best. Isn't childhood the time that is supposed to prepare people for the real world? I never paid my mortgage with a participation award after a job interview.


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