Tag Archives: Nintendo DS

Nintendo DSis – Eastfield Primary⤴

from @ ICT Hardware Loans


Our school is currently trying to update the teaching of I.C.T. and the hardware available to use in class.  When I decided to loan out the DSis the school had placed an order for IPads but only had laptops and Desktops timetabled to classes.  Therfore I wanted to loan the DSis to give more opportunities to my class and other pupils in school to use technology to enhance their learning.

How ICT supported learning and teaching

Primarily I used the DSis as a finishing task, where the pupils could practise their quick mental maths and reading skills on the Brain Training.  I rotated the DSis arounf the groups in the class so that everyone was given an opportunityto practise and ‘beat their brain age’.  As the IPads arrived in school I was then able to give more pupils the chance to use I.C.T. as a finishing/consolidation task.

Impact / conclusion

Pupils were more engaged in their finishing task when using the DSi as they saw it as luxury or playing a game - even though they were still learning.  It was also clear to see pupils helping one another and working together (pairing up and sharing a DSi) to get a better score or result.  The class loved the chance to use the DSis and I am sure they will have the same enthusiasm with the new school IPads.


Sacred Heart Primary Nintendo Dsis⤴

from @ ICT Hardware Loans

The Nintendo DSis were initially requested by our school ICT Committee, which is a group of about 50 pupils from P1 to P7 which meets once a month. One of the aims of the ICT Committee is to increase the use and variety of ICT to support learning and pupils felt that using the equipment could help them to improve their learning, particularly their mental maths agility. The ICT committee trained each other and staff on how to use the nintendo DSis and discussed ways that they could be used in class. The equipment was then timetabled for each class in the school. These are just a couple of examples of how the DSis were used to engage learners and enhance the teaching and learning experience.

Primary 1 used the DSis to practise their addition facts to 10.

Primary 6 and 7 worked collaboratively and used the DSis to improve their spelling skills.

‘We scrambled words and wrote a message to our partner on pictochat. Our partner unscrambled the word and sent it back.’ P6/7 pupil

To gauge the response of staff and pupils to the use of the Nintendo DSis and their  impact on teaching and learning the staff responsible for the ICT Committee issued evaluations. All evaluations were very positive and all staff commented on the positive impact using the equipment had on the learning experience and stated that it was a powerful tool in engaging all pupils actively in their learning. For example, “I used it during maths. It was good for quick practice addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. My support group enjoyed it and they were able to answer questions mentally which they wouldn’t normally answer orally.”P5 teacher.

“I liked braintraining because it is a fun way to learn lots of different things in different ways.” P4 pupil

Nintendo DS at Greengairs⤴

from @ ICT Hardware Loans

posted on Behalf of Mrs Scott.
The DS were used with pupils during the final term to develop mental mathematics skills in a variety of context.
Pupils used the DS Nintendo daily for 20 minutes and chose the activities which they felt would help develop their mathematics skills. It gave the pupils’ choice and increased their motivation.
Pupils were keen to improve their brain age and to try and beat the teacher as I also took part in the project.
One of the pupils who receives learning support was pleased when he received a stamp and this motivated him.
DS Nintendo Pupil Comments.
I liked the interactive way that the Nintendo taught us. It was amazing how we could learn and play at the same time. It was
just fantastic. Samantha
When I was playing the DS Nintendo I liked to get good scores. I t was fun to play the different games. I liked Head count. It was hard but I enjoyed the challenge. Jamie
I liked playing the DS Nintendo because every time that you worked hard your brain age improved. David
I really enjoyed using the Ds Nintendo. I think that it helped me become quicker at answering times tables, adding, taking away and dividing. I think that it really improved these skills. Ben
I enjoyed using the Ds because it was great fun and as you were playing games you were learning. Daniel
I enjoyed the Brain training as I like doing maths. It was very puzzling and I like solving the problems. It has improved my brain. Chloe

Cod liver oil and effective learning…⤴

from @ @derekrobertson's...

Illuminated DS GirlPicture the scene, my daughters are sitting focused, determined, engaged, applying their strategies to win as their faces, illuminated in the light that comes from what they are holding, exhibit the utmost concentration. This concentration must be broken though because the power of the game console is causing this game based learning enthusiast some grief at home ;-) and if a recent report in the Metro has any substance then it appears that I, along with thousands of parents, am causing physical harm to my girls by allowing them to get their hands on these modern day folk devils

Are we bad parents to let our children use games consoles?

"Right you two, put those DSs down now and come through for your dinner. I won't tell you again!" This is the shout that I have had to use on quite a number of occasions since Christmas when the girls' grandad so kindly bought my daughters a DSi each. Their DSis came with a few games one of which is the wondrous Mario Kart and they must have played this every day since they placed their excited mitts on it.  I have been secretly watching them as they have played Mario Kart (as well as the odd occasion playing Little Big Planet) and I have to report that I am seeing some incredible things from them in terms of learning and collaboration. I must also say that any externally forced parental guilt that I may be causing irreversible and actual physical bodily harm, to my girls by allowing them to play games is somewhat assuaged by what I have been seeing! Well what have I been seeing?

  1. Excited learners: When I watch the girls play or get them selves set-up to play their excitement is tangible. They adore playing Mario Kart and cannot wait to get their hands on it. This is real excitement and of such a level that again you wonder as to the challenge, demand and appeal of the design of such games and why young learners WANT TO PLAY THESE GAMES. My girls like all the other things they do and are involved in but at the moment Mario Kart is the undoubted king of their leisure world. 
  2. Challenged learners: Some of the games/races are more complex then others and need some considered thought if you are to become the best that you can be on your own in the game or when playing against others. The girls have worked out much of what needs to be done, what needs to be taken account of in the various games and they have done this without me. They have persevered and are showing an innate ability to unpick the game grammar. This challenge has also been incredibly evident when they have been playing Little Big Planet. Complex and challenging problems do not appear to phase them. They step up to the challenge that games present to them and they want to meet them, there is the intrinsic motivation and drive to meet these challenges.
  3. Confident learners: Over the festive period there were many visitors to the house what with family and friends. My daughters took that opportunity to not only show off how good they were becoming at the game but also to teach the adults how to play it and play it successfully. Again, watching them in action I was delighted to see how they took account of the fact that these 'oldies' were new to the game so they started with easy levels and games so that they could manage the controls. They then offered some tips and strategies that should be taken on board and finally they continued to offer encouragement to those who did not exhibit any real games skills. There appears to be an innate ability to differentiate in this aspect of learning, an innate ability to teach. They naturally assumed the role of the more knowledgeable person in the learning dynamic and showed how they could fulfil this in a sensitive fashion. Confidence in themselves shone through here. Isn't it something to give young learners the opportunity to play this role in a serious way that is not embedded in a any falsely constructed adult dynamic? This is something that they can do NOW and  I believe that we must create as many opportunities as we can to allow learners to do this.
  4. Social Learners: Although there are times when the girls are lost in the game the amount of dialogue that happens between them when they are wirelessly connecting and connected or when someone achieves a great score or discovers an easter egg of sorts is really impressive. They automatically share this so that both develop the skills that each other discovers individually. Similarly, this happens when they hook up their consoles with their cousins and friends and instantly we have a connected group of learners, independently, successfully and confidently managing the technology. 
  5. Learners that need 'guidance': All this is wonderful but I am faced with moans and groans and the occasional tantrum when game play is over, it's time for tea or I tell them that they have spent enough time with their DSi and that it's time to do something else. The reaction from them when I cause them to withdraw from the game and their reactions at times when it is denied to them cam cause some problems. However, as the adult in their lives I feel that my role is to ensure that balance is in place and that this message is one that is consistently given and acted on.

Now my girls do not only play computer games. In fact I limit their time on games consoles believe it or not. They go to gymnastics, trampolining, Rainbows, Brownies, the library, we paint and make things as well as playing various board games like Junior Scrabble, pairs, dominoes etc. Computer game plays a moderated part in the balanced diet of activities that we present to our children. This is the central issue for me, how parents make sense of and decide what experiences their children are presented with. But how can parents make sense of games and how they can be used for good with their children when we are faced with the continual construction of them as modern day folk devils?

Computer games should come with supplies of free VitaminD and Cod Liver Oil!

Now I wonder how many parents ever watch their kids and observe just what can happen when young learners engage in good game play. I have been working in the field of game based learning for a wee while now and what we see in schools across Scotland via Learning and Teaching Scotland's Consolarium initiative is not only what I am seeing from my own children but the added value that comes when a teacher takes a commercially available computer game title and then uses that to drive curricular learning. We are seeing so, so much superb practice and active, intrinsically motivated learning in classrooms...this stuff works. The methodology that we apply sees the game sitting as a contextual hub about which the learning revolves, emanates and grows. Here are just a few examples of this practice that were initiated by the Consolarium and that have now spread to very many classrooms across Scotland and beyond:


But is it the case that parents most probably won't see or be aware of the potential benefits to their children's development? How can they, in fairness, when the general message that they get from the wider media about games and their impact on their children's development is almost a solely negative one? Take the article in the Metro that led with the headline. Gaming Leads to Surge in Rickets. I won't go in to the debunking of this myself due to the fact the article has no real substance or evidence to support this headline other than a cursory suggestion of a causal link. It seems that the issue most evidently linked to this so called upsurge is poor diet yet computer games are somehow linked to this and pulled into the dock yet again! Some readers from the Times Online forum gave this article the treatment and this more balanced piece did the job of sticking up for the falsely accused 'computer game'. The article did cause the games based learning fraternity to take this accusation seriously and with the Game Based Learning 10 conference organisers ensuring that your health would be supported if you attend the event ;-) ...


What can we do to address this continual negative portrayal of computer games?

Whenever I see this kind of article I wonder just how long it's going to be before the good that can come from game play is given the prominence that I feel it merits? Games can be a force for good provided that at home parents play a confident and informed role in engaging with their children in the game play and possibly initiating rules or a framework that provides their children with a wide range of activities. Possibly sites such as As About Games can help here. As for their use in schools then maybe the continued work of the Consolarium and other educators who are exploring game based learning such as Ollie Bray, Steve Bunce, Tom Barrett, Dawn Hallybone and many, many others who are, writing about the appropriate use and brilliant impact of game based learning in their class can continue to promote what are in essence...damn good learning resources.