September 26, 2008
Computer Game Boosts Children’s Maths Ability
By ANDREW DENHOLM EDUCATION CORRESPONDENT
COMPUTER games have been shown to boost maths attainment in a pioneering study in Scottish schools.
Learning and Teaching Scotland (LTS), the curriculum development organisation analysed the effect of the educational game Brain Training from Dr Kawashima .
In a project involving more than 600 pupils in 32 schools, research by Dundee University found a daily dose of the computer game improved pupils' attainment in maths and their concentration and behaviour.
The research was carried out after a small study involving three classes in June 2007 found significant increases in pupils' maths test scores and the time it took to complete the game improvements.
The pupils were given a maths test before playing the game for 20 minutes at the start of each day for nine weeks. When the pupils were retested, their scores had improved by five percentage points from an average of 78 to 83. In addition, the time taken for the test dropped by five minutes, to 13.5 minutes.
Less-able children were more likely to improve than the highest attainers and almost all had an increased perception of their ability.
There was a notable improvement in absence and lateness in some classes involved with the project, pupils' interpersonal relationships improved and there was a slight, but statistically significant, improvement in attitude towards school.
Derek Robertson, LTS's national adviser for emerging technologies and learning, said: "This was a rigorous academic study which offers us clear evidence that targeted and informed use of the game can have real impact on pupils' attainment."
David Miller, from Dundee University's School of Education, said: "These findings are likely to be typical of what we can realistically expect across the board "
Originally published by Newsquest Media Group.
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