Please Miss, I need a Wii

I was reading the latest effort by the government to curb obesity is to introduce Nintendo Wii’s in schools throughout the UK. There’s an article from the Indy about it here. This sounds like a crazy idea at first glance and personally I think that kids should be chucked out in the playground to get some fresh air HOWEVER…

(Warning – I’m now going to express an opinion on a subject I’m not an expert on and in an area that I haven’t really researched much!) –  I think that teachers authority has been eroded to the point where they are unable to ensure that students receive a well rounded education including physical exercise and extra curricular activities. I also think that there is no longer a stigma attached to being overweight as there was in times gone by because it has become the social norm. The understanding of diversity and the adoption of people of all types is a strong and important thing to engender in our kids and therefore I think it’s a very positive thing to move away from the past when people were ridiculed for being overweight, having sticky out ears etc. but I do think that both parents and teachers have a responsibility of care that includes things outside the classroom. My younger kids no longer have access to sporting and leisure facilities in their school that they used to do several years ago and the school has cut back on P.E. lessons, there was a strategy to encourage playground activities but this is no longer running so is it any wonder that kids are becoming overweight? (mine aren’t but they do play outdoor games with us, each other or with their friends in the evenings…and they occasionally play on the Wii!).

Anyhow what interests me most about the introduction of Wii’s to schools is that with them installed and with a growing number of games that revolve around problem solving, puzzling, brain training and improving skills these might become a method of providing an additional layer of education especially to those groups of students who may be disenchanted with the dry classroom based lesson format.

About willwoods
I'm Head of Learning and Teaching Technologies in the Institute of Educational Technology at the Open University.

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