Lucky school children in Japan are soon to have the Nintendo DS added to their curriculum. Nintendo is working with Sharp System Products to bring a modified handheld, the Nintendo DS Classroom, to junior high and high school students in Japan by February 2010.
The DS will feature "around 60 applications covering kanji, math, civics, physics, and history," and will allow students to take tests, do assignments, and hook up to the teacher's DS through wi-fi in order to receive real-time feedback on their work. This is all, presumably, part of Nintendo's master plan to integrate their products into every facet of life and eventually take over the earth with iconic characters and innovative game control systems.
I don't like the idea of the DS being used in schools. First, because the thing is pretty expensive, and unless there's some sort of subsidizing of low income people, it wouldn't work, but also because the DS is fun. Maybe it's a bad idea to mix up the fun of video game playing with the work of school. And then there's the cheating. How fast would students start using the Pictochat feature of the DS to send one another answers to tests as well as crude drawings of wangs? What do you think? Would you like school better if you could take classes on your DS?