So what happens when playing video games becomes the school work?
With the help and support of their school district, sixth graders in Burleson have an opportunity to take their interest in gaming to a whole other level.
The Burleson Independent School District is embracing video gaming as a career tool.
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Kicked back on a red bean bag with his laptop, sixth grader Braeden Stutes is already preparing for his dream career.
“You learn coding at a lower age, you can do it easier in the future because you’ll have more learned because you spent more time on it,” said Stutes.
And he’s enjoying every second of it.
Braeden is part of a new program in Burleson that has transitioned video-gaming from extra-curricular to educational.
“Yes, it makes learning fun, very much so,” said Stutes.
Teachers are using gaming in the “REALM academy” at Karr Middle School, like a school within a school, and guiding students like Braeden through a variety of lessons.
“It’s part of the element of gaming,” said Cheryl Essex.
Cheryl Essex is the Dean of the gaming academy.
“We’re getting rid of that industrial model. We’re getting rid of that traditional classroom that is kind of the one size fits all,” said Essex.
Each student has their own pacing, and Cheryl says the beauty of the program is the gaming platform. That is where the innovation comes in.
“And so it incorporates a competitive nature. So, instead of getting a grade, what you’re looking to is a score,” said Essex.
“So far what we’re seeing, are kids that love coming to school. They eat, sleep, and breathe what they’re doing,” said Burleson ISD Superintendent, Bret Jimerson.
Jimerson calls the academy, the future of education, a strategy geared to keep kids like Braeden engaged, and prepare them for a high-tech successful career.
“I’m a big fan of technology, and it’s always advancing," said Stutes. "Just the thought of always being on your computer at school, I just love that."
We’re told the the REALM Academy is the only program of its kind in the state.
The district will have an opportunity to broaden the program, as well as other specialized courses in the district - If approved by the school board Monday night.
The hope is to expand the gaming academy, one new grade level per year - from grades six through 12.