Wii are great teachers!

Fascinating observation from Ewan McIntosh about a school that is being called a pioneer. He says:

Games Digest and the BBC reporting on a Birmingham school which is doing “pioneering work” in the use of Sony's PSP gaming console in the classroom – but forbidding kids to play any games on them. What? Talk about missed opportunities:

To me, it is a little like telling the office that you're going to have a day out of the office at the beach to plan but making them show up in suits… what is the point?

It is going to be expensive to get true high quality educational gaming.

It is also going to take something else…cooperation and collaboration. To get the scale needed to be profitable, I think it is going to be have to be multi-country. (I've read costs to develop a console game running between $7 Million and I heard on a recent podcast (sorry I can't find it — I was at the beach) $25 million.)

But, the fact is that true gaming can offer powerful rewards to even the most unlikely of people.

Wii need to exercise!

Meanwhile, the Wii is changing the stereotype of couch potato gamers. Listen to this new study shows that:

Liverpool John Moores University found that Wii players who play 12 hours a week or so burn 1830 calories, or the equivalent of around 27 pounds a year. 12 hours a week of Wii is more than you think, but certainly 30-60 minutes a day is pretty conceivable. That's roughly equivalent to a 20 minute aerobic exercise, according to the article.

Perhaps the answer to sedentary youths at PE who don't like to dress out is the wii? Would they be more willing to sweat if they are skateboarding or skiing or doing some outlandish thing in Wii?

Wii is pulling in non gamers and is outpacing the competition as the gaming industry sits agape as retirement homes around the country have their residents wii-bowling!

How can wii engage Bodily Kinesthetic Learners?

I don't know about you, but, when the world turns on its ear I get excited! Excited because I can share it with my students. Excited because it means I can sit around and dream up. But then, I came across this article:

Below is a letter I received from a parent (published here with permission) whose child found it cool again to play educational games online, such as math and reading, using the Wii Opera browser. Previously he would play those educational games on the browser from a laptop computer, but that got too boring.

Now, however, with the cool Wii-mote, it’s a new ballgame. “On the Wii with the wireless [connection] all he has to do is point the [Wii-mote] controller to the right answer and click while watching his whole body move to get the right answer before the time runs out”, his father writes.

We talk about how to engage our bodily kinesthetic learners and we have them get up and move and create. We do as much as we can to pull that into the classroom. Motion sensitive controls have so much potential and combined with the excitement of video games, wow!

Motion sensitive controls might have a lot of potential with the quizzes and activities we already have!

Wii have a lot to think about!

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4 thoughts on “Wii are great teachers!

  1. My campus just received a grant to purchase 6 Wii game systems for the PE department. We would have put in for more but the most we could get in the grant was $5k and we needed to purchase TVs and extra controllers, too.

    Part of our grant was that we feel the Wiis will help get the more sedentary kids active and help level the playing field for them a bit. We feel kids will be more engaged so the number of behavior referrals from the PE department will go down. Another measureable outcome we listed was the health benefits – we expect the number of kids qualifying on the national fitness test will increase.

    All we have left to do is purchase the Wiis which is proving to be a little difficult. We got Best Buy to agree to sell us all six at once but the manager found out he has to call his corporate office to get the OK since there’s an agreement with Nintendo about not selling more than one per household/business.

    Anyway, the point is, we’re VERY excited about this grant! Our instructional specialist and I (the campus technologist) got so excited while we were writing the grant that we each bought one that following weekend!

    We’re going to also use the Wiis as part of staff wellness – a way to get fit and have fun!

    The kids are super excited, of course. Well, not so much our fifth graders as they’ll be moving on to middle school. 🙂

  2. My class has changed the name of our PE lessons to Pwii lessons – we are using a wii in our classroom in conjunction with outside skills lessons, to learn to play tennis. Have a look on my blog to see what we have been up to so far!

  3. Just a few weeks ago I did not know what a Wii was now thanks to my grandchildren I am suddenly a Wii Hero. A little research led me to the “Perfect Birthday Gift”

    I simply signed the kids up for a web based service at http://www.feedthewii.com and now I am cool.
    “It is the best birthday gift I received this year

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