Computer games and childrens’ math skills

Can playing computer games improve childrens’ math skills? Researchers in Scotland (link) found out that playing Nintendo DS‘s Brain Trainer significantly improved the students’ test scores.

Students aged nine and ten completed math tests before the nine week project, and then again afterwards.  All the childrens’ scores were higher, but those using the trainer improved by 50 per cent more than those who did not.

They also noticed when the pupils started the day with a twenty minute problem solving session of the game, that they had and increased attention span during the day.

According to LTS’s (Learning and Teaching Scotland ) national advisor for emerging technologies and learning,  “It shows teachers needn’t be afraid to use technology in the classroom”.

Well I’m not afraid  to use technology in the classroom, but I wouldn’t just let the students play games in school.  As one person commented in an earlier post on this site: “I believe children need to explore and develop fine motor skills and get exercise running around outside. I think a lot of other skills may suffer (Like social skills)”. I completely agree! 

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4 Comments

  1. That is a very interesting article. Here at our small school in Australia they made mention of an article that was run in one of our national newspapers about how electronic toys such as nintendo are proving to be helping children regarding their learning. The bit they forgot to mention were the actual games played. These games have been designed specifically to help children and adults in different areas of learning. So they probably are to be desired as long as they are used as an aid only in conjunction with other methods. Our school seemed to have overlooked the type of games used in this study. Our school has purchased a Nintendo Wii with sports games. True the action is good for them. But wouldn’t running in the playground be just as beneficial. I may be wrong though. After reading this article I will now have to try and chase up the specific article myself to see what it actually said.

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