Around the World Through Exercise
If you hear a high school student ask, “Did you know that the Egyptian pyramids face in the four cardinal directions or that the Sahara Desert is almost as big as the United States?” you might assume you are near the History and Geography club. However, these exact questions are being asked by students across campus, including the most unlikely of places: the school gymnasium.
Thanks to the game based learning aspects of the Wii game ExerBeat built by Bandai Namco Games, students can travel the globe, learning and building Geography knowledge while completing quality exercises that really get the blood pumping. Students can choose from aerobic, latin or hip hop dance exercises, try their hand at learning boxing or karate, and increase their range of motion and flexibility through yoga and pilates. Additionally, students can show off their swimming, disco and pizza tossing skills through the party games. The more the students exercise (and the higher their score), the more miles are added to their journey that propels them through the game’s Around the World mode. The Wii character travels across a map, hitting checkpoints, unlocking new exercises and providing quirky and interesting facts about the cities, countries, and cultures at each stop. The more characters registered for the game, the more competition occurs to try to beat the others to the next checkpoint.
In addition to learning new facts about the world, students gain spatial awareness by identifying where countries are located in relation to where the student lives. Tracking the student or class progress on a wall mounted map also helps reinforce geography skills. Exergaming is a huge component of the new model of Physical Education that promotes the integration of technology. ExerBeat delivers an enjoyable exercise and game based learning experience while promoting cross-curricular integration in the PE classroom.