Look Ma, My DS Made Me Smarter!

schoolkids.jpg Or at least a better at math - so says a small study conducted with primary school students in the Scottish city of Dundee. The wee kidlets were divided into three groups of 30 for the ten week study: one group played More Brain Training every morning for 15 minutes prior to lessons; another group used "Brain Gym", which is a series of physical exercises designed to stimulate brain activity; and the final group did nothing. Based on the math test given at the beginning and end of the project, the researchers found the Brain Training group made gains across the board, while neither of the other two groups showed such gains. And there were more benefits to some quality time with the DS in the morning:

He said: "The results of this small-scale Dr Kawashima project have shown how a targeted and managed use of such a game can help to enhance pupil numeracy skills and classroom behaviour."

There was also a noticeable impact on behaviour and levels of concentration throughout the school day, with the children becoming more self-confident.

Mr [Derek]Robertson [who designed the study] , a former teacher and university lecturer, said: "It had a real calming effect on children in the class.

"In fact I have never before seen such gains across the board."

With all the chatter about the use of games in schools, it's nice to see a concrete (if small) study conducted on easy applications of gaming within the bounds of education. The researchers are hoping to do bigger studies in the future to have a better and more statistically significant sample to pull from.

Daily computer game boosts maths [BBC, thanks James T!]


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