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Graham
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« on: September 19, 2007, 08:14:06 AM »

An interesting article in Newsweek apposite to Nintendo's sponsoring of this years Handheld Learning Conference

Quote

If you see someone on the Tokyo subway fiddling with a Nintendo DS handheld, chances are he's not just playing videogames, but engaged in self-improvement. In recent months millions of Japanese have been using their thumbs to sharpen their minds, thanks to new educational programs introduced for the Nintendo DS.


The article continues:
Quote

The top-selling programs concentrate on cultural literacy, vocabulary building, math drills and English-language instruction. According to the latest figures from Enterbrain, a Tokyo videogame magazine publisher, as of June educational and training software has sold nearly 20 million copies.


Yes, that's right, 20 million copies!

Their English as a second language title has already sold more than 2 million copies:

Quote

Nintendo, the dominant publisher of educational software, uses videogame tricks to make the programs fun. Some titles rank players at each step of the course; others insert short games between lessons. Hardware is also a factor. The DS has dual screens, recognizes handwriting and responds to voice commands, making it easy for nongamers to control. In English Training, a language-instruction program that's sold 2.4 million copies, the student performs language drills orally, turning an otherwise monotonous chore into an entertaining effort to be understood by the machine. Educators are taking notice: a school district in Kyoto will let eighth graders use the DS for English vocabulary drills.


Who would have thought we'd be looking towards Super Mario as a learning coach?

Read the full article:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20643579/site/newsweek/

« Last Edit: September 19, 2007, 09:02:26 AM by Graham » Logged
SteveGayler
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« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2007, 10:32:43 AM »

Which links into Stephen Heppels article in the Guardian yesterday nicely:

I've said before how exciting it is to see a generation hooked on the mind-stretching challenges of Nintendo's Big Brain Academy, but Robertson thought he would trial a daily first-thing-in-the-morning workout for the children's brains using just that.

It will be no surprise to readers that performances got better in some key areas of the curriculum, but new orders of merit also emerged as unexpected performances showed new and unrecognised potential.

Being Brainy became cool, too, and it has been quite a while since schools students regarded anything related to school technology as cool.

Full article


http://education.guardian.co.uk/link/story/0,,2170991,00.html

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Steve Gayler
Graham
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« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2007, 01:47:53 PM »

Another story on from the AFP news feed about how the DS is being used in schools in a similar fashion to Derek Robertson in Scotland:

Quote

In a growing number of cities, teachers hoping to engage children born in the fast-moving digital age are using game machines such as the Nintendo DS, the hugely popular double-screen handheld console, to draw in and hold students.

The strategy seems to be working in one Tokyo classroom, where students come for extra-curricular maths lessons each Saturday morning.

Saito Miyauchi, 12, approaches teacher Raita Hirai with a bashful smile as he holds up his DS screen. "That's great!" the teacher tells him after Saito has topped the class by doing 45 multiplications in 15 minutes.

"I've quickly grown accustomed to this," Saito says as he operates the machine with a touch pen.

Of the 26 students aged 12-14 who were advised to take the class to catch up with coursework, half showed up for the extra weekend session at the publicly funded Wada Junior High School.

Nana Watanabe's face streams with perspiration as she studies. She heaves a sigh of relief as she says: "The badminton club keeps me busy. But with DS, I can study everywhere, and quickly."


The cost of device is also a factor:

Quote

At just one-fifteenth of the cost of a personal computer -- around 17,000 yen (150 dollars) each -- the DS is an economical teaching tool, he said, adding that results in an initial trial showed the English vocabulary of junior high school students using the DS had soared by 40 percent.


Less than the $100 laptop then (and you only have to buy one!) Wink

Complete story here
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drobertson
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« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2008, 09:25:54 PM »

We have been struck by our experience in putting the Nintedno DS into classrooms in Scotland. We are about to undertake a wider scale research project that will give us a more research credible sample group for our Dr Kawashima work. There has been a lot of interest from Scottish schools as a result of the work we have been doing and a number of schools across Scotland are looking to buy DSs for their classrooms. In fact, I received 3 calls today looking for details of where schools could access DSs and what games they should buy.

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