Using computer games to support learning

1 Apr 2010 12:39 PM

The Mobile Learning Network (MoLeNET) has released a new report exploring the ways in which computer games, digital games and digital learning games can be used to enhance and support teaching and learning.

The report, titled ‘Games Technologies for Learning: More Than Just Toys’ was officially launched at the Game Based Learning conference 2010 held at the Brewery London, as part of a research seminar led by LSN’s Jill Attewell and Rebecca Douch.

Jill Attewell, Research Manager at LSN, commented:
“Not only do digital games support the development of a range of skills, they also help engage and motivate learners. This makes them very effective and flexible teaching and learning tools. Many young people are already very familiar with games technologies and enjoy using them. This removes some of the barriers which might otherwise prevent them succeeding.”

In the report, LSN analysed information from Mobile Learning Network (MoLeNET) projects, which have involved 30,000 14+ learners in FE colleges and schools in the last 3 years, and discovered that the use of handheld games devices had increased substantially in under two years, from 300 devices being used in 2007/08, to more than 2,000 in 2008/09.

Drawing on case studies from colleges and schools around the country, the report evidences how handheld games technologies can deliver a range of benefits, including:
- greater flexibility by encouraging learning at different times and in various locations
- improved achievement and attendance
- greater learner engagement through increased motivation, learner focus and attention
- social and emotional benefits in terms of learner confidence and self-esteem

The report also focuses specifically on how handheld games technologies can be used to support learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities, through benefits such as overcoming language barriers for those with low levels of literacy and/or numeracy and helping teachers to support learners at different levels. Practitioners can also glean advice on how to use games technology more effectively in their teaching.

The full report can be downloaded here