Sunday, November 06, 2011

Vidalia News

Oakland Charter School Replaces Curriculum with Angry Birds
NOVEMBER 6, 2011 | ISSUE 1

An Oakland, CA charter school has taken the unorthodox approach of replacing an entire curriculum with a single five-hour class that allows students to work their way through the popular video game Angry Birds.

Principal MaryAnne Bray, of the Oakland Academy of Arts and Sciences, explained Tuesday that, “Angry Birds encompasses so many teachable properties that we believe students will come away from this program with an enriched understanding of several fields of study.” Bray said that Angry Birds allows students to apply the principles of geometry, physics, engineering, logistics and architecture in a practical and hands on manner. “In fact,” claims Bray, “we have never seen students so willing to engage in class.”

Critics of the school’s new endeavor suggest that allowing your child to play a video game all day in lieu of actual coursework is a gamble. Oakland PS29 assistant Principal Peter Hendrickson questions the practice. “Proof that playing Angry Birds for 5 hours a day will be developmentally beneficial could take years to determine, and that’s just not practical.”

Paul Herning, however, from the Acclaim Child Development Center sees it differently. “I think this is the most innovative and creative teaching mechanism I’ve seen in years. Hats off to OAAS for thinking outside the box!”

Bray agrees there is some risk involved in exchanging 5 standard subjects for a single Angry Birds class, but she is also taking caution not to move ahead too quickly. “We won’t automatically renew the program without testing our students first to see how well they’ve learned from this experiment, or how quickly they can execute their way through the package. If my students can’t successfully demonstrate the physics of flinging birds from a slingshot at the end of the semester then obviously this program isn’t working. But I have faith in my kids that they will be successful in this class. Very successful.”


Roger Miller said...

Awesome!! I want to go back to school now!

How have you been stranger? Long time no see. Hope everything is well with you and yours and I look forward to stalking you more in the future. :)

Anonymous said...

Now to remember how to comment so it shows as me!

I think it shows innovation, whether it's effective I don't know, but making these subjects more interesting can't hurt, right? One hopes that they point out that the people who write games have to have decent educations and a grasp of some of your basic concepts to get hired...

Junk Drawer Kathy said...

Welcome back, Jeff! Oh, how we've missed your writing. Well done, my friend.

Angry Birds? What's that? I actually do think I need a class or six on it. I have never been curious enough to download it and I've never seen it in action, except in commercials. Apparently, I live under a rock.

Good stuff, Jeff. We missed you!

Jaffer said...

Oh Oh... it's not just the engineering and sciences but Philosophy and Politics and Economics too !
Students must ask if ethnic cleansing Pigs, monkeys and other mammals is the only solution if the birds only their to retrieve their eggs and other loot.

Will their endeavour be worth the battery power and ultimately the electricity to charge the battery and the cost to charge the battery and environmental damage caused to produce such electricity ?

Maureen said...

Awesome... I guess I need to go back to school tho. I can never get past the first few levels. I had to get some youngster to show me how to play it properly - even then, I still suck at it.

Oh well, back to Solitare on my iPad I guess.

Welcome back Jeff! I guess I had better get off my butt and post sometime again too ;)

Ed said...

Leave it to you to sneak up and post something...tricky...very tricky...I'm calling IBM...

Interesting Facts said...

To me it's a very interesting news that Oakland, CA charter school has taken the unorthodox approach of replacing an entire curriculum with a single five-hour class that allows students to work their way through the popular video game Angry Birds. I appreciate the thought.

Vegan Sweetie said...

I'm not sure how I feel about this.. a little uncomfortable. I hope it works.