Opening in fall 2009, the school is being created by the Gamelab Institute of Play (blog), a New York City-based not-for-profit organization that leverages games and play as transformative contexts for learning and creativity, in collaboration with New Visions for Public Schools, a not-for-profit organization that works in partnership with the New York City Department of Education to improve academic achievement in the City’s public schools.
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation recently awarded a grant of $1.1 million to help with planning and development.
According to a Wired news story, the planners “are looking at how games naturally engage players and teach them new skills, and hope to apply those principles to create kids who not only ace their SATs, but are also well suited for the 21st century.”
“Games offer a context for problem-solving with immediate feedback, and often involve social interaction that can reinforce lessons learned. Combine that process with the skills that modern games encourage — like computer literacy and navigating through complex information networks — and you have the basis for a brand new pedagogy. [...]
The meaning of ‘knowing’ today has shifted from being able to remember and repeat information to being able to find and use it.”