Yale University researchers have completed a study that suggests that a computer based training program, known as Activate, as well as video games can improve learning. The Yale study looked at 500 second graders and their reading and math scores received on school directed standardized tests. The conclusions stated that such brain activated training programs, as well as video games, can actually improve learning, and test scores, more than human tutors are able to.
The results found that the children’s test scores in reading and math vastly improved using the training program over regular class instruction. The use of the training programs out performed one on one tutoring sessions for math and the results surpassed standard summer reading programs also.
The computer based training with Activate was held for four months, three times every week, with the students. The researchers also found that when they did a quick five minutes with a video game, prior to the Activate session, the children’s focus and learning improved even that much more. Priming the students with the five minutes of video games along with the Activate proved far more effective for the learning process than warm up learning exercises that were previously being done by the teacher.
Lead author on the study, Dr. Bruce Wexler, said that, “The program increases focus, self control and memory – cognitive skills essential for learning. And, these are exactly the cognitive skills affected by poverty, so we believe brain training programs…can help reduce the achievement gaps related to poverty that are seen in schools throughout the country.”
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