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ERIC Number: EJ868940
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Dec
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 9
ISSN: ISSN-1529-8957
Gaming + Autonomy=Academic Achievement
Hernandez, Don
Principal Leadership, v10 n4 p44-47 Dec 2009
Preparing students from low-income, minority families to graduate is a challenge that begins as early as elementary school but becomes a particular concern at the secondary level. Low-income students are twice as likely as higher-income students to be poorly prepared for grade-level work and 1.3 times more likely to have learning disabilities, behavioral problems, and developmental delays. Such adverse circumstances make challenging subjects, such as pre-algebra and algebra, an ordeal. The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics cautions that students experience "frustration, failure, and negative attitudes toward mathematics and learning" when they are required to deal with algebra before they are ready. All of these factors result in a lack of student engagement, which is a strong indicator that students may drop out and a cause of poor academic achievement, truancy and absenteeism, and disruptive behavior. At Sam Houston Middle School in Garland, Texas, they have addressed this challenge by introducing struggling math students to educational gaming and allowing them to pursue this particular remediation process on a voluntary basis. In this article, the author discusses the use of DimensionM from Tabula Digita, an immersive computer game that required players to use pre-algebra and algebra in action-adventure "missions" or games, as a viable option for motivating at-risk students. The DimensionM gaming software consists of first-person, three-dimensional, immersive games that are similar in appearance to popular action adventure video games. Each game contains embedded math concepts, such as identifying prime numbers, adding and subtracting integers, performing linear equations, and finding the greatest common factor. Players must master these concepts and apply them to achieve game objectives. In this way, the software transforms mathematics from abstract exercises into meaningful tasks.
National Association of Secondary School Principals. 1904 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1537. Tel: 800-253-7746; Tel: 703-860-0200; Fax: 703-620-6534; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Texas