The benefits of educational computer games

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Created by Carlie Reason and Angela Hawks for the uni subject EDC3100

Transcript of The benefits of educational computer games

  • 1. ICT and Early Childhood: the use of computer- and internet- basededucational gamesBy Angela Hawks and Carlie Reason

2. Interactive computer/ video games

  • Defined as:
  • Type of activity performed on screen that follows a game structure
  • Consisting of:
    • specific rules
    • boundaries and
    • Rewards

3. Kids and Computer- Internet based games

  • utilised as springboard for developing computing skills & strategies in early childhood classroom
  • Basic skills appear in these games
        • Using a mouse
        • Navigating around the screen
        • Clicking, dragging, double clicking & other fundamental skills
  • Used-
    • by any age group
    • in every country throughout the world
    • in both school and home contexts

4. Rationale for choosing this topic

  • As ICTs are so pervasive in society with the coming of the digital age, it is valuable to learn the skills associated with their use from an early age (Shaffer, 2006).
    • in the 2006 financial year, Australians spent more than $1 billion on digital game hardware and software ( Department of Education and Training, 2010)
    • 79% of Australian households have a device for playing computer and video games (reference)


  • 'Commonwealth of Australia' study-
        • 94% of students had playedcomputer games
        • 19% of those at school
  • ICT can help change teaching and learning
        • Student centered
        • Skill appropriate


  • Government & teachers are focusing on the benefits that technological literacy brings to the classroom.
  • Teachers are utilizing computer games as yet another method of catering to the different cognitive learning needs.


  • 2005 report found children who used appropriate software had improved:
      • IQ scores
      • Non- verbal skills
      • Dexterity and
      • Long- term memory
  • Governments support by policy & initiatives allowing schools to allocate substantial portions of their annual budgets totechnology.

8. Parents thoughts on computer games

  • many positive aspects of game play other than enjoyment & happiness.
  • 73% of parents say games help their children to learn about technology.
  • 68% say games help their children to learn maths.
  • 64% say games help their children tolearn to plan

9. Recent article:'Aussie kids struggle with computers'

  • Only 57% of year 6 students reached or exceeded the proficient standard for ICT literature

10. Developmental benefits from computer games

  • Increased hand/ eye coordination
  • Motor skills honed
  • Problem- solving skills utilised
  • Strategy and planning required to play
  • Decision- making required for play
  • Logic skills developed
  • Goal setting
  • Multi-tasking
  • An improved sense of self- esteem from masteringskills & progressing through levels

11. Social benefits from computer games

  • Team- building & collaboration
  • negotiation
  • Learning a sense of fairness
  • Learning to take turns
  • Online interaction
  • Conversational skills
  • Visit to hear moreabout the interactional benefits of computer and onlinegames

12. Educational benefits from computer games

  • Assist in recall and information retrieval
  • Helps to develop cognitive skills
  • Can embed curriculum (eg. Maths concepts)
  • Provide opportunities for learning that may be inaccessible offline



14. The media

  • Media have not portrayed computer games & VEM favourably.
  • Heated debates blaming content for promoting aggressive, violent behaviour & other socially frowned upon attitudes and behaviours.
  • High exposure to VEM is claimed to cause behavioural deterioration & disorders such as:
        • ADD
        • ADHD &
        • Other cognitive & development problems in children.

15. How to maximise benefits:

  • regulate the amount of time that children play
    • Experts recommend between 1 & 2 hours of electronic media per day (including tv)
  • Supervise or select games for children based on:
    • the content of the game
    • Themes and concepts portrayed
    • Skills and abilities required to play
    • Outcomes desired from play
  • Take a minute now to view

16. Ideal ages for computer games

  • Researchers do not recommend for under 3s as they do not match their learning style
  • 3-4 year olds can benefit when playing in small groups
  • 4- 8 years can play individually tofurther concept grasp

17. 3-4 yo children who use computers have significantly greater developmental gains such as increased:

      • Intelligence
      • Nonverbal skills
      • Structural knowledge
      • Long- term memory
      • Manual dexterity
      • Verbal skills
      • Problem solving
      • Abstraction
      • Conceptual skills

18. 5 points to ponder:

  • Computer and video games are
  • a natural teacher
    • Highly motivating
      • Interactive
        • Provide repeated practice
          • Include rewards for skilful play


  • Video games
  • that take me places away from harsh reality,
  • that allow me to be the kind of person I want to be,
  • that test my abilities,
  • that raise my awareness level,
  • that teach me strategy,
  • that improve my hand-eye coordination,
  • that teach me math skills,
  • that teach me history,
  • that teach me a foreign language,
  • that are mostly made of RPG's, FPS's, and RTS's,
  • made me who I am today.
  • (Written by a 14yo gifted boy)(Bainbridge, 2010)

20. Thank you!

  • Please take a few minutes to complete our survey located at:
  • References
  • Shaffer, D. W., (2006)How Computer Games Help Children Learn , (online edition) Palgrave Macmillan, accessed 22 April 2010 from:
  • Finger, G., Russell, G., Jamieson-Proctor, R., and Russell, N., (2007).Transforming Learning with ICT: Making it Happen , Pearson Education Australia: Frenchs Forest.
  • The Department of Education and Training, (2010).Smart Classrooms: games in learning , accessed 22 April 2010 from: