IT Infrastructure Federal File

Federal Game Aims to Curb Youth Conflicts

By Andrew Trotter — April 29, 2008 1 min read

A computer game created by a federal agency aims to teach children conflict-resolution skills and offer an alternative to violent computer and video games that have become popular with young people.

The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, which primarily tries to resolve labor conflicts in the adult workplace, developed the interactive game, called “Cool Schools: Where Peace Rules.”

Childhood is where human capacities to get along are rooted, agency officials said.

“These are skills to be learned early,” said FMCS spokesman John E. Arnold.

Interactive-game expert F.J. Lennon created the game with help from federal mediators, outside educators, and developmental psychologists at the University of Maryland College Park.

See Also

For more stories on this topic see our Federal news page.

It is aimed at children ages 5 to 7, but some experts said older children also enjoy it.

Colorful animated characters are presented in a series of conflicts at school; players must choose methods of resolving each conflict from a set of choices that can be from the perspective of victim, perpetrator, or observer.

In one scenario involving a line of children—whom the teacher has told not to hit or tattle—one child punches another, who tells the teacher. The player is asked to choose the teacher’s best response. (The answer is to give both children a timeout, rather than punish one or the other only.)

“They’ll learn skills of empathy [and] conflict resolution,” said Mary Ellen LaCien, a former federal mediator who tested the game in Chicago-area schools.

The five-year project cost about $1 million, drawn from the agency’s appropriations to support conciliation and mediation in communities, said Frances L. Leonard, the chief financial officer of the FMCS.

The game may be downloaded free from the curriculum-sharing Web site Curriki.org.

It is not unprecedented for the federal government to develop a computer game to influence young people. In 2002, the U.S. Army released the first version of “America’s Army,” an online war-fighting game that is popular worldwide.

A version of this article appeared in the April 30, 2008 edition of Education Week

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Safe Return to Schools is Possible with Testing
We are edging closer to a nationwide return to in-person learning in the fall. However, vaccinations alone will not get us through this. Young children not being able to vaccinate, the spread of new and
Content provided by BD
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
Meeting the Moment: Accelerating Equitable Recovery and Transformative Change
Educators are deciding how best to re-establish routines such as everyday attendance, rebuild the relationships for resilient school communities, and center teaching and learning to consciously prioritize protecting the health and overall well-being of students
Content provided by Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Addressing Learning Loss: What Schools Need to Accelerate Reading Instruction in K-3
When K-3 students return to classrooms this fall, there will be huge gaps in foundational reading skills. Does your school or district need a plan to address learning loss and accelerate student growth? In this
Content provided by PDX Reading

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

IT Infrastructure More Families Have Internet Access. So Why Hasn't the Digital Divide Begun to Close?
A new study says low-income families’ access to the internet has soared in the past six years. But there are other barriers to connectivity.
3 min read
Glowing neon Loading icon isolated on brick wall background. Progress bar icon.
Mingirov/iStock/Getty Images Plus
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
IT Infrastructure Whitepaper
2021 Best Practices Guide: Education Broadband
In this guide, we provide actionable steps, timelines, and tips to help you launch and sustain a successful student WiFi program.
Content provided by Kajeet
IT Infrastructure Remote and Hybrid Learning Are Declining. But the 'Homework Gap' Will Still Be a Problem
Schools are returning to in-person instruction, but students' connections to the internet at home remain spotty.
2 min read
Sam Urban Wittrock, left, an advance placement World History Teacher at W.W. Samuell High School, displays a wifi hot spot that are being handed out to students in Dallas on April 9, 2020. Dallas I.S.D. is handing out the devices along with wifi hotspots to students in need so that they can connect online for their continued education amid the COVID-19 health crisis.
Sam Urban Wittrock, left, an Advanced Placement World History Teacher at W.W. Samuell High School in Dallas, displays one of the Wi-Fi hotspots that were given to district students during the pandemic.
Tony Gutierrez/AP
IT Infrastructure 'Big Burden' for Schools Trying to Give Kids Internet Access
A year into the pandemic, millions of students remain without internet because of financial hurdles and logistical difficulties.
5 min read
Veronica Esquivel, 10, finishes her homework after her virtual school hours while her brother Isias Esquivel sits in front of the computer, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021, at their residence in Chicago's predominantly Hispanic Pilsen neighborhood.
Veronica Esquivel, 10, finishes her homework after her virtual school hours while her brother Isias Esquivel sits in front of the computer, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021, at their residence in Chicago's predominantly Hispanic Pilsen neighborhood.
Shafkat Anowar/AP