June 9th, 2009, 23:41 Posted By: wraggster
Nintendo is making its biggest move yet at expanding the DS beyond just a game machine. In Japan today, the company announced a partnership with Sharp System Products for the development and sale of a new educational system called Nintendo DS Classroom. The program targets elementary, junior high, and high school students.
As part of the Nintendo DS Classroom program, teachers use a PC to interact with individual DS, DS Lite or DSi units held by students. The interaction is done via Wi-Fi, with special software in the PC communicating with a special Nintendo DS Classroom cartridge in the DS units.
Sample uses for the program include interactive tests, with teachers feeding students questions and seeing responses come back in real time. Teachers can also host interactive surveys, with data tabulated and graphed on the fly.
On the student side of the program, students use the DS to answer not just multiple choice questions, but free response questions as well via the stylus. The software beams to the teacher images of the students' free responses.
Sharp System Products, which Nintendo notes has experience in this field, will be producing educational content using a system developed by Nintendo, and will also handle sales and, set-up and support.
Teachers will also be able to create their own custom content via a spreadsheet-style interface.
The service will kick off in February 2010, with Sharp offering 60 applications covering a variety of subjects.
If things work out in Japan, perhaps we'll see something similar in the English speaking world.
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