A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Cool School: Where Peace Rules is a free game created specifically to teach kids how to resolve conflicts and reduce bullying. Players are given a mission to help bring peace to Cool School by helping students resolve their conflicts peacefully. The diverse students at Cool School model both good and bad behaviors and engage players in learning how to make good decisions. It may be a bit too cheesy for older students, but Cool School is a powerful educational tool for young school kids.
What's it about?
When the students at Cool School need help resolving their conflicts, they turn to you, the player, to help them make good choices. Players are given a mission to bring peace to Cool School by helping students resolve their conflicts peacefully. On their mission, kids watch 26 videos of social stories in which students argue over a common issue, such as cheating on a test or not letting someone join their team. Players hear both sides of the story, then choose from four options about how the characters should respond to resolve the conflict. Then the video continues to show whether that choice improves the situation. If so, the player earns a trophy; if not, the player keeps trying to make the right choice.
As you explore the school, you'll encounter diverse students in familiar conflicts. You'll hear both sides, then decide what the characters should do. To make the right choice, you'll need to consider what's fair, kind, honest, and best for everyone. Just like the characters, it's OK to make mistakes -- you can keep trying until you get it right. By the time you finish, you’ll be a resolution rockstar!
Is it any good?
COOL SCHOOL: WHERE PEACE RULES is a great example of how a video game can be used for educational purposes. Cool School uses video animations to create familiar contexts for learning, models behavior using accessible language, reinforces learning through creative repetition, and engages and empowers kids to practice making good choices. The scenarios are realistic, and the answers are not clear-cut; this encourages kids to explore and learn through trial and error and helps kids develop a toolkit of conflict-resolution techniques for different situations. Anyone can relate to the characters by using objects like books or pencils, and the characters' names, accents, and behaviors celebrate diversity and inclusion.
Talk to your kids about ...
The next time a conflict arises at home, try using a technique from Cool School, such as flipping a coin or asking the wrongdoer, "How would you feel if someone did that to you?"
As you read books or watch shows, pause when you notice a conflict. Ask your child about the two sides of the story and how he or she would respond. Then, continue to see what happens together!
Cool School's bully is mean because someone once bullied him for being different. When you notice someone being mean, ask your child to imagine what might have happened to that person in the past.
- Platforms: Mac, Windows
- Subjects: Language & Reading: letter or word recognition
- Skills: Responsibility & Ethics: embracing differences, integrity, making wise decisions
Emotional Development: empathy, identifying emotions, perspective taking
Communication: friendship building
Collaboration: respecting other viewpoints
Thinking & Reasoning: decision-making
- Price: Free
- Pricing structure: Free
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Realtime Associates, Inc.
- Release date: January 28, 2013
- Genre: Educational
- Topics: Friendship, Great boy role models, Great girl role models
- ESRB rating: NR
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