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.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: Meh
By theArchMichael on 6/8/2010 4:27:02 PM , Rating: 2
Actually when the top range of students from the US are compared to the top range of students in other countries, notably South Korea. Its the US students who are more adept at critical thinking and also writing (which implies creativity), while the South Korean students generally did better in math and sciences because of their more rigid drill based curriculum. This is a comparison of the Top 10% of performers from both nations in OECD tests (some debate their accuracy). In comparisons of the general American population of students vs the general population of foreign countries, the US fares much worse. Like 24th out of 28 countries...

Going to your second point, and tying it in with my first. Personally, I think there's room for more creative skill building AND math and science drill work AND civic and cultural studies, etc. Its a called a LONGER SCHOOL DAY . I don't think paying teachers more to do the same crappy/lackluster job is the end answer to our problems.

Pay the teachers more to DO MORE! if the parents have an option of a 9-5 school day at certain schools, their kids would be able to do participate in all the enriching activities that create well rounded individuals while also being able to really partake in drilling the multitude of concepts encompassed in a math/science curriculum.

A good example of this is KIPP, which is a nonprofit that setup a public charter middle school in Baltimore that serves the poor/high risk kids in West Balitmore (think The Wire, yeah its really that bad). The school has no entrance exam and lower income/high risk kids are given preference for admission. So they are NOT cherry picking. They have a longer schoolday and also go to school on some Saturdays half day. They also have shorter summer/spring/winter breaks. They make education fun by doing "cool" experiments in the classroom instead of just quickly referencing it in the textbook. But they also still have time to do the actual study required to impart real skills through drill work in the classroom.

All this to say, the standardized test scores of KIPP academy in baltimore are ASTOUNDING .
Maryland has one of the "better" education systems in the country but Baltimore public schools consistently rank among the worst in the nation. This one school with their extended hours and curriculum is scoring among the best in the state, its competitive with high priced private schools. It's just amazing to me to see this happen in West Baltimore ,arguably, one of the roughest neighborhoods in the US, definitely the roughest in the NorthEast.

Its just a same how much political bullshit surrounds education in this country from all parties, otherwise common sense options like this would be more widely available.

"This is from the It's a science website." -- Rush Limbaugh

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki