Interactive education games improve pupil learning
A host of educational research confirms that the most meaningful learning usually takes place when the new information is presented in innovative ways. Indeed when most people remark, sometimes ruefully, a certain event: 'Really taught me a lesson I won't forget', one of the things they are acknowledging is that, because of the important circumstances of the event, they know it will stick in their memory. This is the strategy adopted by Braingo, a learning approach which introduces a range of current national curriculum learning content in an entertaining educational format.
Have more fun getting smart
Modern gaming technology now routinely uses a whole range of tried-and-tested forms to enhance a player's experience, and the consortium of teachers and developers behind the Braingo initiative are seeking to present core subject concepts utilising a similar interactive game-play environment. Taking the popular communal game of Bingo as its model, Braingo likewise works well in the classroom environment where pupils 'play' by controlling individual screens offering vibrant, high-quality audio and visual learning materials, which are in turn linked into a classroom network of pupil and teacher screens.
Research reports learning benefits
Working with groups of junior schoolchildren, researchers at Durham University are engaged in a three-year project to explore and develop the learning advantages of 'smart' desks – multi-touch, multi-user interactive units networked together. One obvious benefit of this type of learning environment is that it encourages truly collaborative learning where no individual gets to dominate the electronic classroom. According to Durham researcher Emma Mercier, the smart desks – configured like multi-touch interactive whiteboards which groups of students can access – have proved valuable in expanding mathematical problem solving, helping young pupils "find a range of solutions to arithmetic questions". Dr. Mercier finds the new method is a very popular option with these young students, and reports: “The children really enjoy doing maths in this way and are always disappointed when you turn the desks off."