Mom was wrong: Study shows gaming is good for school

[The research continues to grow on the positive impact of games on learning. Here’s a CNET article that focuses on an Australian research project. The research does  not pinpoint which type of games improve skills, but it does indicate that games are preferable to social media, like Facebook. For those folks who can make this year’s Three Rivers Educational Technology Conference on November 7 and 8, there will be sessions that share some success stories from the Pittsburgh region.]

August 8, 2016 by


Photo by Norton Gusky CC BY 4.0


Could playing Minecraft and other online games lead to better grades in school? Maybe, as long as you don’t spend time sharing details of your digital exploits on Snapchat or Facebook. That seems to be the message of a new study that finds online video games improve students’ scores, while social media has the opposite effect.

Researchers at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) in Australia looked at standard test scores for 12,000 Australian 15-year-olds and also asked them about their online habits.

The results are that I finally won a long-standing argument with my mother from 1994: Turns out I probably was better off spending my hours playing long-since-forgotten TurboGrafx 16 games than posting on America Online or the local BBS all day (I guess the simple, text-based forums looked more “educational” to her at the time).

The research, published in the most recent issue of the International Journal of Communication, finds that students who play online games nearly every day scored 15 points above average in math and 17 points above average in science.

“When you play online games you’re solving puzzles to move to the next level and that involves using some of the general knowledge and skills in maths, reading and science that you’ve been taught during the day,” RMIT Associate Professor Alberto Posso, who conducted the research, said in a release.

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