For the past month I have been using a set of Nintendo DS systems within the Alternative Program class that I teach here at Boort Secondary College. The program is run during the normal scheduled French class and is aimed at improving the literacy and numeracy skills of the students. Each week we set time for a variety of activities including homework catchup and skill builders over a variety of subjects along with a double period working on a community or school based project. Across the course of the year the students self esteem and confidence has also improved substantially which has been fantastic.

The Nintendo DS systems have been integrated to work on their skills in a engaging and fun way. The class set that we purchased contained 4 games.

Maths Training - A game that aims to improve all aspects of basic mathematics by using fun interactive games.

Brain Training & More Brain Training - A game that mixes both literacy and numeracy to work out your Brain Age (An estimate based on your responses and times on games)

Sight Training - A game to improve all aspects of Focus ability.

The catalogue of educational games is steadily increasing and I have just made an order for the cooking game which takes people through recipes in an interactive way, which could be useful for a home eco class and those disengaged boys? So has it worked in this class? Have a listen to the Interview I conducted with the boys themselves to see what they think. What do I think? Well in a class that was almost impossible to get them to sit still to complete anything, they are now sitting through entire lessons without saying a word, completely focused on their workand their progress. Are they engaged? They sure are.

Look forward to reading your comments.

Views: 227

Comment by Rebecca Lush on October 16, 2008 at 11:08pm
I really like this idea to get kids interested. It is great that game companies are coming out with educational games! They have been making educational games for young children for years, and it makes sense that older kids would also be interested in video games. I can't believe what a difference it made in helping the students pay attention in class. This is a great example of thinking outside the box as an educator!
Comment by Kostas Antoniou on October 17, 2008 at 5:12am
I'm impressed!! It would be very nice of you if you gave us some details "how" you integraded the DS in your class!
Comment by Jarrod Robinson on October 17, 2008 at 5:40am
The kids im using this with have poor literacy and numeracy skills due to learning disorders, so by using the nintendo's ive simply been able to engage them so that they can work to improve their skills. However i have just used the live chat feature on the DS to assess reflections on their participation within a community project. Now the cooking game has arrived will pass this onto the Home Economics teacher who will integrate it within her home eco classes. There are also plenty of other games , even those not sole intent for education that you could use. Imagine learning how to handle money and buy goods in a game that required you to collect money? What about writing the follow on script for a second game or the speech from characters within the games. You could have students do all sorts of things based on the scenarios within any game. Just have to think outside the square, thats all ive done and the kids are responding.
Comment by Kostas Antoniou on October 17, 2008 at 8:54am
How do you fund your program? Was it difficult for you to convince your principal to buy you these DSs and the extra games? I'm starting to document some ideas based on your proposal for foreign language learning... Why did you choose the DS over a computer lab with Edubuntu+GConpris? Futurlab in UK has some interesting ideas when it comes to m-learning (m for mobile).
Comment by Mikala Gleason on October 19, 2008 at 7:44pm
This is a very interesting idea - but I think it's an awesome one! Kids are so into the games and new technology of today, so incorporating these into the classroom and using them as teaching tools is an awesome way to get kids motivated!!!
Comment by Jarrod Robinson on October 19, 2008 at 8:21pm
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Comment by Duncan Exton on September 17, 2009 at 5:59am
I have been thinking about a class set of DS's for a while. Now I need to get some budgetary numbers for this. I was wondering where you sourced your Nintendos, and approximately how much it cost to purchase system and games per student.


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