Giving Compass' Take:

• The author discusses a pilot program designed by the Institute of Play that incorporates Nintendo technology to advance STEM learning.

• In what ways can video games and too much screen time potentially hinder student progress (even in the classroom)?

• Read about the success of video games in K-12 classrooms engaging students. 

All those ‘90s kids who used to try sneaking their Game Boys into class and playing discreetly under their desks—to no avail, of course—may soon be feeling like they were born in the wrong decade.

The gaming devices aren’t being treated as contraband anymore, at least not in the 100 K-12 schools that have welcomed Nintendo products into their classrooms this year to help students develop collaboration, creativity, critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

The classroom program, which began in fall 2018 and runs through the spring, pairs Nintendo technology with a curriculum designed by the Institute of Play to create a STEM-focused, hands-on learning experience that combines digital and physical elements. It started as a small pilot in 11 schools last September, says Arana Shapiro, executive director at the Institute of Play, a nonprofit that builds learning experiences around game design.

More than 700 teachers applied to be part of the 2018-2019 rollout, which required a commitment to spending 15-20 hours of total class time to the experience and to working with kids between ages 8 and 11.

The 100 educators selected received a copy of the teacher guide the nonprofit had produced, then joined a webinar where they learned the ins and outs of Nintendo Switch, a gaming console, and Nintendo Labo, a cardboard-based variety kit filled with do-it-yourself activities that build on the Switch.

“I don’t think it will replace content or learning experiences tit for tat, but more supplement them,” she says. “For us, it’s about how Labo supports 21st century learning—critical thinking, communication, cooperation and design.”

Read the full article about Nintendo games increase STEM learning by Emily Tate at EdSurge