Educational Editorial: Wii and education

By Dr. Bill Bosher, NBC12 Educational Specialist

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - This week my wife, Jo Anne, and I bought WiiSports. No, it is not a tiny athlete or a set of very small golf clubs, it is a video game console that is sold by Nintendo.

While it is pronounced "We", as in "we the people", it is spelled "Wii" and is a fascinating interface between digital and human worlds.

So here we are, my wife and I are bowling in the family room, where she regularly "cleans my clock", playing golf on courses where I would never pay the greens fees, and swatting a tennis ball, to the laughter of my wife, with a cartoon looking opponent…and cheering when I beat him.

Nintendo proudly advertises that its seventh-generation console targets a broader demographic audience than its Microsoft Xbox and Sony Play Station 3 competitors. And, so my wife and I validate their marketing research.

The lesson…digital learning and leisure have arrived. Young people find this a natural as talking on the phone…an experience that my grandparents found novel.

We are now obligated to find constructive ways to use these new "creations". Schools must be filled with simulations, critical thinking games, and problem-solving experiences.

Students must be exposed not only to print but to the voices, mannerisms, and tones of great leaders, exotic creatures, and parts of the world that they may never experience.

If two 60-somethings can enjoy, not vicariously but literally, the athleticism of sports, how much more compelling will it be to allow students to tackle the world's greatest challenges.

Oh, I have not yet hooked the "WiiFit" equipment.

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