Can digital games in school improve attention? A study of Brazilian elementary school students


Several studies suggest that digital game routine can improve cognitive performance. Most of these studies are performed at laboratory setting and the training occurs individually, while this study aims to evaluate the effect of digital game routine on attention performance of elementary school students. Thirty students played digital games daily (15 min) at the beginning of class for 6 weeks, while a group of 41 students had the normal school routine. The students’ attention performance was assessed by the D2 test before and after the training period. A repeated measures ANOVA suggests that main effect of “period” (pre and post comparison) has significant influence on D2 total score (F = 39.43, p = 0.0001), but the interaction between “period” and “group” shows that training group has a greater improvement than control group (F = 9.91, p = 0.002). These findings suggest that the use of digital games in school routine can enhance the cognitive improvement that is already obtained in the normal school routine, creating an enriched environment to stimulate students’ cognitive development.

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This work was supported by CNPq (Brazilian Council for Scientific and Technologic Development, Brazil), Process Number 444831/2015-0. HMM is supported by CAPES/DS Scholarship.

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Correspondence to Daniela Karine Ramos.

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Ramos, D.K., Melo, H.M. Can digital games in school improve attention? A study of Brazilian elementary school students. J. Comput. Educ. 6, 5–19 (2019) doi:10.1007/s40692-018-0111-3

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  • Country-specific developments
  • Improving classroom teaching
  • Interactive learning environments
  • Media in education