Want to know something cool?

One point of view, taking note of sundry "cool" things that affect-- or could affect-- the education business.


Thursday, January 26, 2006

But Mom, it's HOMEWORK!

Want to know something cool? Students in West Virginia are about to get down with their bad selves, yo! After taking a beating in a study by state of the incidence of obesity in children, the state has decided that if you can't beat it, then put a beat to it!

Dance Dance Revolution (DDR), a phenom that broke out of the arcade stables and leapt into a living room near you (thank you PlayStation2), is now about to become the newest addition to the state's curriculum. Initially targeting that oh-so-fly crowd of 10-to-14-year-olds, DDR will be rolled out to the state's 157 middle schools, with a plan to put the footloose workout in all 753 public schools within three years. If you think I'm kidding, you can read it for yourself <here>.

I'm all down with the healthy goodness of exercise, but I'm having a hard time latching onto the fact that one or more DDR units in the school are going to make a huge impact. After all, in a typical 45-minute class, you're talking about 25-plus students. Assuming head-to-head play, that's less than four minutes per kid on a DDR. I'll concede that's enough time to become winded (I've tried it), but I'm not sure it meets the standard of a real "workout."

Still, there are worse ways to spend time (and money) in pursuit of the sveltification. And it's not Mario, thank Heaven, because in the end, you'd be sacrificing brain cells for bulkbusting. Let's just hope the state coughs up for the good soundtrack expansion packs, so our middle school kids can be cool while they bust the moves. It's good to know that something so fun and fashionable can be so good for them.

Cool, huh?

How will it shake out? Comment this blog, and let's see where the conversation leads.
For great news, views, and resources for educators, check out The Balance Sheet p
ublished by South-Western, a Thomson company. Trusted news for educators for several decades, several miles ahead.


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