Thursday, January 1, 2009

Nintendo Advanced DS Educational uses or just mindless games for kids

Is their an educational use of the Nintendo Advance DS? I believe so and here is why. All are family members own one. It could be a true ubicuous educational technology device that kids already own. This also means school would not have to buy and supply them to the students. Here are a few educational uses for the Advance DS.
Learning a foreign langue: Chinese, Japanese or Spanish, yes there is a program called My Japanese coach that helps students learn and reinforce the foreign langue that they are learning. It has many skill reinforcement tools and gives the students instant feedback to assessing how they are doing in learning the new langue. It gives them feed back and lets them know as compared a grade level of the learners langue. My daughter is a 12 grader and is learning Japanese from Michigan Virtual University. I bought this program to help reinforce here learning of the langue. The program tells here that she has master the league as well as a 1st grade japans student in just 15 weeks of class and use of the program.
SAT practice: Although most Michigan school recognize the ACT the SAT practice program helps the student study for the types of question that will be ask on the ACT.
Brain Teasers: There are many games that allow you to work on IQ type logical skills to help as they call it exercise the brain.
Simulations: SIMCITY, Pets, become a surgeon or imagine a series of games where you try to be a fashion designer or other job simulations skills.
This is just a few of the games that can help student to learn skills and exercise there brains. Over all I think this is a start down a road to many neat tools that help educational technology become a tool like a pencil and paper that can be used in and out side of school to help reinforce what we have learned and mastered and to explore new and creative issue that stimulate the young mind to learn. They are intrinsic motivational tools that we don’t have to try to force upon are children but that they want to use. They are tools that can give them instant feedback and engage student learning. They help the parents and the teacher by giving us feedback on the students mastery of subject content. Is this one of the next tools for the classroom, is it going to be the student cell phone. I have always been a proponent of this, “Technology will only become effective when it is a tool as simple to use as the pencil”.

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I am the Director of Technology at a K-12 School system.