back to article Brain training game aids kids' learning skills, study claims

A daily 20-minute ‘brain training’ session on the DS Lite appears to help improve kids' learning and behaviour skills, according to research conducted by government educational body Learning and Teaching Scotland (LTS). The organisation recently ran a ten-week trial at Dundee school St Columba's Primary. Children aged between …


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  1. Paul

    Other excuses....

    "However, it’s another weapon in your armoury of excuses if your boss catches you playing with a DS Lite during working hours... "

    Now can we have one for posting on El Reg? The old "Its a high brow IT site" is wearing a bit thin, more so since he saw me reading BOFH last week. Although I have noticed he has stopped using the lift since then...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Brain training = teaching

    Um. Surely that's what teachers are paid to do? I call it an indictment of teachers' skills that they have to get a machine in to interest the kids in what they're supposed to be there for.

  3. dervheid
    Thumb Up

    I don't suppose...

    ploughing your way through LoZ - Phantom Hourglass is going to go down to well with "the man" somehow!

  4. Matt West

    Bad, bad, bad science

    I imagine they'll wait until the research has been published in a respected peer reviewed journal, and larger scale tests have been done that confirm this result before they start pissing away money on Nintendos.

    At the moment that article just reads like a press release begging parents for money.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Village of the Damned

    ...must think of a brick wall, a brick wall... must think of a brick wall...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Children taught things!

    So the outcome of the rather expensive trial is that actual teaching methods and learning properly in the manner we have taught for thousands of years (albeit with a DS instead of slate and chalk) actually works? And works better than putting the bairns in front of a 45 minute powerpoint presentation (I have seen teachers do this!).

    Who would have thought?!

    Even Paris would be able to learn with proper teaching methods.

  7. Matt

    Not exactly scientific

    They should have done more than ten weeks, not taken teachers subjective views but used something measurable.

    They should have given some kids normal lessons, let some watch TV, let some read books and perhaps finally actually tried teaching some without the politicised national curriculum getting in the way.

    Might also want to consider getting parents to spend time teaching and encouraging the kids instead of sitting them in front of computer games/TVs and leaving them in the charge of strangers.

  8. Chris Morrison
    Dead Vulture

    RE:Brain training = teaching

    "Um. Surely that's what teachers are paid to do? I call it an indictment of teachers' skills that they have to get a machine in to interest the kids in what they're supposed to be there for."

    Yup, and schools should ban the use of computers, whiteboards, projectors, tv's, dvd's and every other 'machine' that they currently use for teaching.

    In my day you just got a sheet of sums and you weren't meant ot be interested.

    Tisk Tisk, what has the world come to.

    Get a life.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    re: Brain training = teaching

    "Um. Surely that's what teachers are paid to do? I call it an indictment of teachers' skills that they have to get a machine in to interest the kids in what they're supposed to be there for."

    And isn't it brilliant that this amazing machine that replaces teachers costs less than a 100 quid? P45's all round!

    Mine's the one with the leather patches on the elbows and a copy of the TES in the pocket

  10. ImaGnuber
    Paris Hilton

    Where is the problem?

    Hmmm... academic scores are dropping - bring in some flashy technology.

    Academic scores continue to drop.

    Hmmm... better add some more flashy technology.

    Academic scores continue to drop.

    Hmmm... better add some more flashy technology.

    Hmmm... perhaps the problem lies elsewhere? Methinks the problem might lie with the adults rather than the children.

    Paris cos she could figure this out.

  11. Andy

    Hnd in Half Life, MSc in Manhunt2 please


  12. kain preacher

    educational nut case

    to fix these issues you need to clean house at management levels and higher people like engineers and science people. I dont me replace every one with a engineer ir science geek just the people in management that are responsible for math and science. Let the people that know what industry needs be in charge and dump the idiots. I know its foreign

    concept and it shows through out or society on both sides of the pond. Some thing seriously needs to be done to insure that we dont get people going to college that would know a verb from an adjective.

    Well the helecopters are here and I see the black suburbans .

  13. Geoff
    Thumb Down

    Scientific methodology

    Not exactly double-blind, is it?

  14. Andy Worth

    Re:Brain training = teaching

    Well I think you'll find that it's a measure of the society we live in. Kids have always needed mental stimulation to get the best out of their learning. Over the years, the things that interest kids happens to change, and if this persuades kids to pick up and learn then surely it's a good thing?

    Personally I think the larger problem lies with society itself. More and more children are completely uneducated upon starting school, with a growing group of the population seemingly uninterested in their children. Then in other groups, people shy away from any form of discipline and then wonder why children don't learn the difference between right and wrong, or at least the consequences of doing the latter.

    Most "bad" kids have their chances ruined before they ever reach school. Ask a primary school teacher - the difference between a child that was encouraged to learn by their parents (pre-school) and one that was not can be huge.

    Unfortunately there also is a tactic of perhaps the "least intelligent" among us to have more kids as a means to gain more benefits. Which makes this the fastest growing section of the population.

    I just don't think people should look to teachers as the root cause of education issues in every case. But then that'd mean people had to look to themselves for responsibility, and we all know how bad people in general are about accepting blame.

  15. Calum n Shady

    It's Dundee for F**ks sake !

    The poor wee weans can probably concentrate more because their hands will huv been thawed oot after the walk te school in the biting wind blawin up the Tay frae the north sea .

  16. Edward Noad
    Thumb Up

    Ministry of the Bleeding Obvious

    I remember sitting down for an hour of maths every morning at school. It was usually the most boring part of the day, our teacher did it to us so she could have a cup of tea and sort out any other problems she had before actually doing any teaching.

    Giving kids a nice shiny toy and saying "Play this game! It's designed to stimulate your brain!" is a pretty damn obvious way to engage their enthusiasm. They'll want to come to school if they get the shiny toyz to play with every morning, plus they're actually doing something good for the brain into the bargain.

    Can't see the problem with it anywhere, except that no-one thought of it earlier.

  17. Holiday Penguin

    5/6yo vs P5/P6

    Please read up on the original publication: it's not about 5/6-year-olds, but pupils in P5/P6, so almost twice as old... does make a difference, doesn't it?

  18. Snert Lee

    Control groups?

    Surely, in order for the study to be valid there should have been control groups doing something other than playing on the DS. Then you compare the results of the various groups and find out if your target group's results are owing to the brain train game, or if other activities would yield similar or better results.

    One group with DS. One with comic books. One coloring. One being threatened with suffering if they don't do better than the other groups. Much more interesting possibilities than this dull one theory, one control, one result hooey.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    Now the old "Pleeeese Mum/Dad, I need it to help with my homework" ploy can be used by a whole new generation of kids!

    It certainly worked for me in 1982 with a ZX81 (and again the following year with a ZX Spectrum). :D

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