School's push to get 28 Wiis seems excessive

It definitely seems cool to incorporate video games into an educational environment, whether it's to provide an outlet during indoor recess, energize students in gym class or incorporate educational games into a learning curriculum. But one Ohio elementary school may be going too far; it wants to raise enough money to buy a whopping 28 Wii consoles.

East Avon Elementary School held a fundraiser earlier this month and managed to raise $4,600. Not bad, but the school has its eyes on an $8,000 Wii bill. School board president Susan Harrison is justifying the proposed purchase bysaying it could get students up and moving during indoor recess, which is common in the winter months.

"What it does is get them up around and moving. It’s not video games, and you have board games, but you can lose pieces. You can buy more, but mainly it’s the interaction of the kids and that they are up and moving," said Harrison.

Harrison acknowledged there are parents who aren't thrilled with the idea. It will be included in a levy, which will be voted on in May, but Harrison doesn't expect it to fail. That's because the vote will be for all total expenditures, not just the Wiis.

"The levy is more for operating funds — teachers, light bill, day-to-day operations of the school — we need to do something for the kids," she said.

Harrison also noted the school will onlyuse money earned in fundraisers for this purpose. If they raise $8,000 and are pressured into not buying the Wiis, they wouldn't know what to do with the money.

Now, I remember the days of indoor recess at my elementary school. My classroom had ONE Apple IIe computer, and it was up to the entire class to decide how to take turns, and those who weren't playing would patiently watch and help whoever was. Unless East Avon Elementary (which houses only first and second graders, btw)has 28 different classrooms, this seems a bit over the top.

[Source:Morning Journal]

Feb 22, 2011

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