Pupils with regular access to games based on traditional favourites such as space invaders and penalty shoot-outs significantly improved their scores in GCSE English, maths and science, it was revealed.
Teachers said the use of the system – employed by some 900 primary and secondary schools – promoted “stealth learning”, with children unwittingly picking up key skills while being engrossed in computer games.
It was also claimed that it created healthy competition between pupils who sought to achieve higher scores and climb school leader boards.
The disclosure comes despite previous fears from experts that too much access to screen-based entertainment damages children’s attention spans and forces them to lose concentration.
Research by Yardleys School, a top state secondary in Birmingham, analysed results among children who accessed games produced by the Doncaster-based education company i-education.
It emerged that 70 per cent of regular users met or exceeded pre-set GCSE targets in maths compared with just 40 per cent of other pupils.
In English, 70 per cent of gamers did well in exams compared with 50 per cent of other pupils, while in science half of pupils inflated their scores against 30 per cent of their classmates.
David Pohl, the school’s deputy head, said: “It’s clear that in core subjects those who use it the most stand a significantly increased chance of meeting their GCSE target grades.
“It’s giving students the opportunity to continue their learning outside of lessons. Students are still playing football and having fun but they are also heavily engaged in continuing their learning outside of school.”
Pupils across Britain are currently able to play the games – mostly outside school time – in which they answer a series of on-screen questions before accessing puzzles.
In one penalty shoot-out game, students answer questions before being allowed to use their computer mouse to score goals. Wrong answers make it harder to beat the keeper.
Correct answers in another game – based on space invaders – give pupils more time to fire at aliens.
Pupils with the most correct answers are then featured on school-wide leader boards, giving them the chance to compete against friends.
Source: The Telegraph
Read more: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/9320238/Computer-games-improving-pupils-GCSE-results.html
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