A Nintendo Learning Story

A friend came over this week, with her 5 year old.

He was proudly showing me his new Nintendo DS. He’d done a leaflet run with his dad and bought it a week or so earlier. *Note to self – stop giving own kids gadgets too easily. I was amazed that he had a game, but had found a better use for it – as he explained.

He showed me a collection of writing that he’d done in the car on the journey over. He’d been copying down letters and numbers from road signs. But, and here’s the kicker, he used the drawings to tell me about the trip over, where they can gone, what he saw etc.,

Being ever the teacher, I back tracked a few times and asked him to explain things he’d said – such as where did you see the sign for 110 – ‘oh on the motorway’ he said, then showed me another one that said ‘exit speed’. He wanted to know what happened if you didn’t leave the motorway at that speed. I didn’t have an answer for that, but that didn’t put him off.

I’ve had no success in getting anyone at my school to take interest in hand held devices. A few PSPs around the place, but they are not ‘in the swim’ of learning.

I continue to read great things about Nintendos, not least from Ewan ‘Mr Channel 4’ McIntosh … and wonder what the problem is, why do administrators think about computing as either laptop or desktop, mac or PC? –

Even the Rudd funding application explicitly asks that question. Surely there is enough evidence now to at least consider trialing the DS in schools. I’d put my hand up for it – after all, Rudd is funding 9-12 computing, is there even a plan for K-6 or are we just going to leave it until 9th grade?

3 thoughts on “A Nintendo Learning Story

  1. The microsoft learning centres here in Qld got the Xbox in for grade 2 kids in public schools. There was no trial, no asking parents, nothing just more gov money for MS.

  2. We are about to begin a Nin DS project in Year 4 at our school, 30 devices used to support, in the first instance, maths – lots of potential and very excited to get it underway.

    When I was at the Scottish Learning Festival I was lucky enough to meet Derek Robertson and others from the Consolarium, part of Learning and Teaching Scotland – well worth exploring what research they have done regarding DSs

    A couple of links for you and I will keep you posted on our own DS project.



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