Commercially available digital game technology in the classroom: Improving automaticity in mental-maths in primary-aged students

Document Type

Journal Article


Social Science Press


School of Education


Originally published as:

O'Rourke, J., Main, S., & Hill, S. M. (2017). Commercially available Digital Game Technology in the Classroom: Improving Automaticity in Mental-maths in Primary-aged Students. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 42(10), 4. doi:10.14221/ajte.2017v42n10.4

Original article available here.


In this paper we report on a study of the implementation of handheld game consoles (HGCs) in 10 Year four/five classrooms to develop student automaticity of mathematical calculations. The automaticity of mathematical calculations was compared for those students using the HGC and those being taught using traditional teaching methods. Over a school term, students (n=236) who used the HGCs and Dr Kawashima's Brain Training showed significant improvement in both the speed and accuracy of their mathematical calculations. Data collected in interviews during the intervention period from students, staff and parents were analysed to provide further information on the implementation and efficacy of this approach. This exploration identified that the HGCs contributed to positive learning, motivational, and efficiency outcomes. These findings highlight opportunities for using commercially available digital games to achieve classroom objectives.



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