An experiment involving 600 pupils in 32 Scottish schools has found that using math problem-solving games for 20 minutes every day can improve math performance to a significant degree, reports the United Kingdom’s Independent. The test group of pupils used the commercially available Nintendo’s Brain Training game for nine weeks, while a control group continued their lessons as normal. When they were tested again at the end of the period, the results found all groups had improved their scores–but those using the game had improved by a further 50 percent. The time taken to complete the tests also dropped by five minutes, with the games group improving more than twice as much as the control classes. The idea to use brain training in the classroom came from Derek Robertson, national adviser for emerging technologies and learning at Learning Teaching Scotland, who bought a console for himself a couple of years ago and thought: "I bet this could work in a primary school." He believes the targets set within the games were one of the main reasons why the children improved so quickly at arithmetic. He says: "One of the biggest drivers was the self-improvement model; the children were also playing something they wanted to play." He also offers another reason why these games have boosted math achievement: Classroom teachers have embraced the handsets because of their simplicity of use. "These games have a low technology-skills threshold–play around with it for five minutes and you are away, which means the teacher doesn’t have to worry about anything going wrong and can concentrate on teaching," he says…

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