School Uses Video Games To Teach Thinking Skills

A school in New York uses videogames in their Quest To Learn program to teach kids thinking skills.

If you were ever told that you were wasting time paying those video games, man were you told wrong. Time has passed and it has been confirmed that playing videogmes can teach thinking skills, if you don’t believe me take a look at this novel school in New York and their Quest To Learn program. This school agrees that putting together kids and videogames will teach them thinking skills and I agree because I remember when I was a young buck and has no clue on how to play a video game, but within 15 minutes was playing as if I had read the instruction manual.

“The big idea of the school is we looked at how games work — literally how they’re built and the way they support learning — and we thought could we design a school from the ground up that supported learning in the way games do,” says Katie Salen, one of the executive directors of Quest to Learn.

The school believes that this could be a new kind of literacy, and in the program ,kids are even turned into travel agents, (not literally of course). The kids play as travel agents for a city called Creepy Town and they convert currencies, keep blogs about their travel experiences and budget trips. Thanks to this videogame kids learn to adapt and improvise.

Looks like the worldwide crisis even affected Creep Town since they also had an economic crisis and that motivated the kids to figure out what went wrong. They checked their receipts, and they even proposed the design of a theme park to bring revenue in. One of many people taking part in this program claims that these videogames teach kids to solve problems, how to communicate, how to use data, how to begin to predict things that might be coming down the line.

Thanks to this program kids also learn something called systems thinking, which Salen says is one of the cornerstones of 21st century literacy. It helps you understand how the behavior of a derivatives trader in Hong Kong affects housing prices in Florida. When a system becomes sufficiently complex.

The school had around 500 applicants for 80 slots in next year’s class, so Creepytown should thrive for at least another year.

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