Yay it's Maths!' Using hand-held game consoles in a Primary classroom
Faculty of Education and Arts
School of Education / Fogarty Learning Centre
While it is widely accepted that mathematical competence is a key objective of education, it is also equally accepted that it is an area in which many students underachieve (Commonwealth of Australia, 2008). Specifically, automaticity in the recall of numerical facts is generally accepted as prerequisite for developing more advanced mathematical processes (Tronsky & Royer, 2003). With this in mind, a year 4 class in a Catholic primary school in the Perth metropolitan area was involved in a trial study utilizing the handheld game console (HGC) Nintendo DS with the commercially available Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training game. The Brain Training software presents a number of mathematical puzzles (including subtraction, addition, multiplication, and division calculations) that are designed to improve speed of recall and general academic performance. While the trial is ongoing, preliminary results indicate that the use of the HGCs has had a positive impact on the students’ computational skills.