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April 01, 2007



This is such a joke. There is absolutely NO science behind this product. Give me some studies that have been reviewed by peers. Give me something other than memorization improvements. We all know thats something that wont last.

If you want a product that really worsk and really lasts over time. That has scientific studies done by peers, has been reviewed in PNAS...you should checkout Posit Science.


Everything else is just junk science and a waste of your money.

Ewan McIntosh

I also got a comment from Matt when I mentioned the DS - he, too, has a bias given his apparent link to Posit.

I refer Matt to the recent study from Bournemouth Uni:

Improvements here, too, using Dr Kawashima. And the game WAS designed with scientific background to it.

Thanks for sharing this so quickly, Derek. Can't wait to see your full report on the LTS site.

Derek Robertson

It's not a joke Matt. My small scale study has given data that HAS shown great improvements in mental maths ability in this P.6 class. As I said, the data needs to be fully analysed but early signs are positive. I don't want to make games based learning work where it doesn't just to support any agenda that I may have... Maybe this study wiull lead to a larger scale study but we'll need to look at this. For me choice of resources and methodologies in teaching and learning is all about appropriateness and whether they work with, or, for the learners that will be using them.
We have videoed the children at work/play, we have videoed the children talking about their experiences and we have videoed the teacher and Deputy HT talking about what a postive experience it has been for the children both cognitively and affectively. I hope you can rermain open-minded enough to wait to read my full report and to view the videos as soon as they are released before you make your mind up. I'll keep you posted.


I’ve also had a comment form Matt – when I was talking about Mind Genius (another DS Game) the other week.

Derek, I can’t wait to read the rest of your results. As you indicate in your post its not just the improvement of mathematical ability. But also the improved bond between the class that needs to be considered here. I’m also looking forward to the secondary trial.

On another note Brain Academy comes out for the Wii this month!

Kim Pericles

Derek, this is really exciting news. Interesting that the use of the DS Lites actually calmed the class; seems that shared purpose and self-motivation, as well as shared goals leads to increased quality time on task! Can't wait to read more of your results.


Sounds great Derek.

I don't know if is Derek's science is strong enough, but it look a lot better than the way a lot new initiatives seem to be tested.

If you want another test done Derek ( a west coast one would be good for geo-balance (a pseudo-science concept I've just invented), just send me the kit.
23/100 to 68/100 would be good enough for me;-)

Derek Robertson

The affective aspect of the study was rather unexpected but delightful to find out about.
We could always do a replica study but I've another couple of ideas regarding these consoles and associated games. I'll be in touch and we'll get something underway. One thing I want to add about the Kawashima project is that thye teacher was/is an NQT in her first post. No real history of ICT experiece and expertise. I think this is important when we try to sell/promote such approaches to the wider teaching population. You don't need to be an ICT guru/expert to successfully use these resources and approaches.


Interesting stuff. We did have a discussion about buying this kind of thing at the end of year when we were discussing the best way of using study money, but think it was a bit late in the day to do anything about it. Certainly something to consider again next year.

I don't think though that using games such as these should become a Brain Gym versus Games debate, there is surely a place for both. I've watched our S1s do some Brain Gym exercises every morning since they came into school in August and the difference in their coordination is noticeable - I was quite stunned at how uncoordinated and unsupple some of (most of?) these 12 year olds were. PE teacher does some exercises with them every morning, beginning with simple exercises and increasing the difficulty over time, eventually they'll start doing some yoga and tai chi as well. Anything that gets them moving a bit has to be good.

Derek Robertson

I agree Lynne. I was interested to see what effects both approaches would have given the short time the children had within the day and over the course of the 10 week treatment period. To tell the truth I am not wholly convinced about the efficacy of Brain Gym but there are lots of schools/teachers using it and talking of the benefits in similar ways to you. I don't think for one minute that my study is going to debink Brain Gym but I do expect greater evidecdent of payback when you consider how much time and effort is devoted to its approach and use.


I think the Brain Gym effects are probably built up, by the time we've done the register, signed planners, handed out letters and read out notices they probably only get around 2 minutes out of 5 minutes registration.

I know yoga and tai chi aren't quite the same as Brain Gym, but I once saw a piece on tv about a school which started off each day with meditation and yoga, concentrating on breathing and focussing the mind and they had noticed a difference in results.

Donna McCallay

How do we know of the benefits of new technology within education if we do not give it a try? After recent experience with using a world maths site-where children from around the world compete against each other online to solve mental maths calculations (although the kids in my class quickly sussed that who they were playing against was suspect as one girl was put against another in from our class-who wasn't actually on line...they felt cheated)this was a great success(until the above)-children buzzing about learning and wanting to miss breaks to solve calculations-I knew that the ds could be a winning tool-they could play against each other in class, outside at break,at home-this to me is where the real possibilities open up-the flexibility of when and where to learn... We are investing in a class set and aim to monitor the results. Would be pleased to submit the data to a wider investigation.

Derek Robertson

great to hear your thoughts and to hear about your experiences. I'd really like to hear more about what you did. Can you give me a shout on Twitter so we can sort something out? Best of luck to you with your efforts, there's more and more people like yourself out there who can see the power of games.

Donna McCallay


its been a while obviously, since i checked this-not really sure how to contact you

cheers donna

Anna Weston

I hope you are having a great time in Australia and taking in some sights as well as spreading the gaming word!

You came in to speak to my BEd 4 ICT option class at Moray house last week, Zoe runs it.
Where can i get some references to the research you have done? and your published paper? im planning to do a analytical questioning of Gee's theories and using scottish case studies like nintendogs and dr kawashima.


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