Posts Tagged ‘
video games ’
Thursday, March 7th, 2013
A study conducted by Italian researchers has found that playing action-packed video games and manipulating the devices used to play may help children with the learning disability dyslexia improve their performance in reading by training children to focus their attention and examine the game for both speed and accuracy. More from The New York Times:
The small study, published online last week in Current Biology, involved two groups of 10 dyslexic children. One group played action video games for nine sessions of 80 minutes each, while the other followed the same routine with nonaction games. The researchers bought the games in retail stores and have no financial interest in any video game company.
Age, I.Q., reading speed, error rates and phonological skills were similar in the two groups at the beginning of the study. The researchers measured the attention and reading skills of the children before and after the game sessions and then compared them.
Those trained on the action games scored significantly higher than those who played the nonaction games by various measures: combined speed and accuracy, recognizing pseudo-words made of random letters, and reaction time. The action game players also scored higher on tests that measured attention by inserting distractions as the children tried to accomplish various visual and auditory tasks.
Image: Teen playing video game, via Shutterstock
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Thursday, April 19th, 2012
Earlier this week, I promised some posts on new and exciting products I discovered at the Sandbox Summit at MIT. It turns out, the one that grabbed my attention most is actually more “exciting” than “new.” It’s the Double Fine Happy Action Theater game for the Xbox 360 game console, and it was released in February of this year.
Click here to see a video trailer for the game, which allows multiple players to transform their living rooms into balloon clouds, fiery lava fields, or bubbly seascapes. It’s not educational in any traditional sense of the word. It’s just plain fun for the whole family.
At the Sandbox Summit, Microsoft’s educational design director, Alex Games (pronounced GAH-mes), presented the trailer as an example of what can happen when learning is approached through the lens of play. The game is an example of how parents can “co-view” a piece of technology with their children, interacting on every level, and developing skills from physical fitness to quick decision-making.
According to Games, the co-viewing aspect, combined with the fact that the game takes place in a family’s living room, as opposed to in an invented, remote video game world, make it just the type of thing families should look for when choosing how to spend their leisure time…if they want to spend more than just a few minutes together as a family.
“We’ve moved toward really fast-paced, bite sized experiences, very similar to what is happening in social media,” Games said. But when it comes to learning, “there are certain things that it takes time and patience to develop.”
Image via http://marketplace.xbox.com/
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Tuesday, April 17th, 2012
Only two percent of parents report feeling severe guilt for allowing their children to use tablets and other mobile tech devices, according to a new study released today by the app development company Ruckus Media Group and the research company Play Science.
The findings, which were presented at the Sandbox Summit at MIT, are based on a national online survey of 300 parents of 4-8-year-old children. All of the parents surveyed have computers in their homes, 78 percent have smartphones, and 65 percent have tablet devices.
The study found that 56 percent of parents feel “some guilt” for letting their children watch videos, play games, and read on mobile devices, though only a small number of parents feel significant guilt around the issue. Further, the study found a relationship between parental guilt and how parents perceive the educational value of the applications they use.
According to the study, guilt-free parents are:
- 200 percent more likely to believe that the apps they let their kids use are “educational”
- 68 percent more likely to list educational value as the most important aspect of an application
- 81 percent more likely to think it’s important to play games on mobile devices with their children
- 22 percent more interested in getting feedback on what their child is learning from applications
Image: Girl using a tablet, via Shutterstock.
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Monday, April 16th, 2012
Over the next few days, you’ll notice some different types of posts here at PNN. Your intrepid blogger will be attending the Sandbox Summit at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to hear what psychologists, educators, and entrepreneurs have to say about this question: What is the relationship between technology and play?
The Summit’s website describes its mission: “Play is how kids learn. Technology is an enticement. By creating a forum for conversation around play and technology, Sandbox Summit strives to ensure that the next generation of players becomes active innovators, rather than passive users, of technology.”
Stay tuned for what I anticipate will be fascinating insights, research, and ideas from the experts at the Summit, as well as some tidbits and sneak peaks of the newest, coolest techno toys around.
Ready to play? I sure am!
Image: Play button, via Shutterstock.
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Monday, February 27th, 2012
Children who are given an “active” video game–one that requires that they move their body to play–are not likely to be more active in general than children who do not play active video games, a new study published in the journal Pediatrics has found.
The study followed 9- to 12-year-old children who do not have any obesity issues or other health concerns that would prevent them from having normally active lifestyles. Over the course of 13 weeks, researchers tracked the activity of the children, who were given either an active or an inactive video game, to see whether the active games inspired more everyday physical activity.
Though the active games are inherently physical and movement-oriented, the results, the researchers concluded, “provide no reason to believe that simply acquiring an active video game under naturalistic circumstances provides a public health benefit to children.”
Image: Girl playing hand-held video game, via Shutterstock.
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