By Deborah Williams
Many students enjoy their time playing video games, so Lelia Meyer’s article, “Pilot Program Incorporates Video Games into Classroom Learning”, on The Journal website is not too surprising. Microsoft, the makers of the Xbox 360 have compiled a library of 200 ready-to-use classroom activities developed by educational experts.
These activities, which are aligned to that national Common Core State Standards, are used with the Kinect for Xbox 360, the controller-free video game platform that is played using the full body. (One can’t help but notice it is another way to sneak in a little physical activity while learning!) John Ratley, associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School suggests that this connection between learning while doing physical activity improves brain function: “”Physical activity sparks biological changes that encourage brain cells to bind to one another. For the brain to learn, these connections must be made, so including physical activity in the classroom creates an environment in which the brain is ready, willing, and able to learn.”
The school districts that are piloting this application are Los Angeles Unified School District, Chicago Public Schools, Houston Independent School District, Scottsdale Unified School District, Flagstaff Unified School District, Fairfax County Public Schools, and Loudoun County Public Schools.
See this at work in a primary school in South Africa: