Social Media and Education

Nintendo for the Classroom – One Idea

Posted on: April 19, 2010

A year ago, a teacher friend of mine, Matt Kuntz, from Oak Park, Illinois, told me about a great Nintendo game called Professor Layton and the Curious Village. The game, he said, was chock full of great math puzzles and kids in his math classes loved solving them.

His word was enough for me. I found the game, and being somewhat ignorant of gaming, realized I would have to save some money for a Nintendo DS to play it. Kids in my neighborhood often come to me for help with their math homework after their parents have given up. I asked them for advice. One girl explained she was saving money for a new DS Lite and offered to sell me her old one. She assured me the game I had purchased would play just fine.

She was right. The game worked great. Now all I had to do was figure out a way to buy 30 copies of the game for my students (assuming they all had their own DS’s) or a way to project what I had. I asked around. One guy told me he could rewire my DS and make a plug to connect it to a projector.
That was last summer. The DS became a toy for my grandkids to play with when they visited.

A few days ago, I received a “gift” from our Tech Department, a AVerMedia document camera. It was a great addition to use with my Mimio board. We have been studying rocks and the magnification on the document camera was excellent. Being able to use it without blocking the view of my whiteboard had significant advantages.

At the end of school today, some of my students got out their DS’s and iPods. That is when the idea hit me. I had one of the students put their DS under the document camera. I grabbed a double-male mic cable from my supply cabinet, put a mini-pin adapter on one end. I used it to plug the DS into my sound system.

The result was incredible. I had a 4′ x 6′ image of the DS screen on my white board and I could crank the sound high enough to shake the walls. Tomorrow, teams of students will begin solving the puzzles of Professor Layton’s Curious Village. I am inspired. I know my students will be thoroughly into the process. They will come up with plenty of other ideas for using their hand-held gaming devices for their school work. Can’t wait to get to school in the morning.

Rick

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1 Response to "Nintendo for the Classroom – One Idea"

Congratulations this is a great use of technology in the classroom.

I remember when I bought that game for my partner she fell in love with it and played through it quickly. The content of the game make great math and puzzle problems in the classroom. I am glad you were able to use suck new technology and thanks for sharing your stories through this blog.

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