Nintendo Labo May be Coming to a School Near You

nintendo-labo.jpg

Via The Verge- “When Nintendo first launched Labo, its line of DIY cardboard accessories for the Switch, many hailed the product’s potential for education. By building Labo kits, kids were able to learn new problem-solving techniques, understand how different technologies worked, and even start to grasp basic programming concepts. Now that potential is being put to use, as Nintendo has partnered with New York-based nonprofit the Institute of Play to bring Labo to actual classrooms. ‘We want this to be as turn-key as possible, to reach as many potential educators and as many potential students as possible,’ explains Reggie Fils-Aimé, president and COO of Nintendo of America.

As part of the partnership, Nintendo will be bringing Labo kits to around 100 schools in the United States, with the goal of reaching around 2,000 students during the 2018-19 school year. The Institute of Play, meanwhile, is creating a guide to help teachers integrate Labo into their lesson plans. (In Canada, Nintendo has partnered with an education company called Actua for a similar project.)”

As a teacher who is also an avid gamer, I’m always happy to see how combinations of education and video gaming take shape. A great example of this was the Discovery Tour mode in last year’s Assassin’s Creed: Origins, which ditched combat and was purely designed to teach players about life in ancient Egypt. Pulling back on the action of a video game and using it as a tool to push the boundaries of education is a welcome sight for both students and educators alike. Seeing an established company like Nintendo making consistent efforts to include gaming in classroom activities is a big deal for education, and will hopefully lead to a shift in the traditional view of video games’ “negative” impact on early childhood development. With a particular applicability to school projects within the STEAM subjects, the impact of Nintendo Labo on students will surely be notable. I’m certainly excited in seeing where this project will go, and will be following it closely as it develops.

What are some ways you would like to see video games applied in the classroom? Leave us a comment below or a voicemail at (347) 509-5620.