A new report published by the National Children’s Bureau (NCB), a UK educational charity, has received extensive coverage in the media as clear evidence that video games are “bad” for children. The findings are less apocalyptic than what you might have read so far.

The study’s aimwas to examine how young peoples use of computers and access to the Internet might impactfinal grades achieved in their GCSEs, a qualification that British students obtain at 16. The study was conducted in Northern Ireland on 611 students, as well as 41 parents and 18 teachers of the pupils. Possible confounding factors such as socio-economic background of the students and their educational needs were also taken into account.

Students benefit from having a computer and being familiar with the software, the study confirms. It highlights how students that have access to word processing and presentation programs are significantly more likely to achieve higher grades than the students that did not. They also found that the highest achieving pupils were the ones who spent a moderate to high amount of time on a computer (1-3hours a day), regardless of what they were actually doing on the computer.

The report goes on to analyze different aspects of information and communication technology.In general, teachers and parents were found to believe that usage of mobile phones, social media and gaming play a part in pupils’ poor academic achievements. Contrary to this idea, the study didnt find any relationship between time spent on social media or mobile phone usage and poor performance in school.

What the study did find, however, was that among those gamerswho used a portable gaming console more than twice a day, only a smallproportion (41%)achieved the highest grades.This has been reported elsewhereas the “smoking gun” of the damaging effect of video games, but the NCB study also failed to find any significant difference betweenthe grades of those classed as regular gamers (gaming oncea day) to occasional gamers.

In fact, recent studiesin the United Statesand in Englandhave highlighted how low levels of regular gaming (less than anhour per day) can actually have a positive impact on a student academic achievement. The report advises caution in the interpretation of these results and suggests a need for more detailed studies to understand the potential underlying cause, in addition to intensive gaming, which could possibly lead to poor academic performances.

In general, though, the study shows an overwhelmingly positive impact of ICT literacy on the pupils’ achievements in school, and the study recommends investment in young people’s access to ICT.

Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/editors-blog/impact-technology-and-gaming-children-s-academic-achievements

Were there glow in the dark stars on your bedroom ceiling? Did you go pond dipping? And fossil hunting?

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Kelly Oakes / Buzzfeed / Flickr: cmichel67 / webelements.com / Flickr: squeezyboy

  1. How many of these did you have? (Homemade versions count!)
    1. 1 johnadams.co.uk ✓ A chemistry set.
    2. 2 webelements.com ✓ Model DNA.
    1. 3 amazon.co.uk ✓ Crystal growing kit.
    2. 4 sciencemuseumshop.co.uk ✓ Soap bubble kit.
    1. 5 thediscoverystore.co.uk ✓ Glow in the dark stars.
    2. 6 amazon.co.uk ✓ Glow in the dark planets.
    1. 7 garnethill.com / Via geekologie.com ✓ Glow in the dark duvet cover.
    2. 8 mosishop.org.uk ✓ Night sky projection kit.
    1. 9 tigertribe.com.au ✓ Inflatable globe.
    2. 10 en.wikipedia.org / en.wikipedia.org ✓ Slime.
    1. 11 brio.net ✓ Wooden railway set.
    2. 12 en.wikipedia.org ✓ Spirograph.
    1. 13 Educational Insights / toysrus.com ✓ Binoculars.
    2. 14 telescopes.com ✓ Telescope.
    1. 15 ✓ Microscope.
    2. 16 Flickr: spencer77 / Creative Commons ✓ Net for pond dipping.
    1. 17 Flickr: paulspace / Creative Commons ✓ Pooter for collecting insects.
    2. 18 rokit.com ✓ Homemade water rocket.
    1. 19 sciencemuseumshop.co.uk ✓ Electronic circuit kit.
    2. 20 Flickr: cmichel67 / Creative Commons ✓ A terrarium.
    1. 21 Flickr: tschiae / Creative Commons ✓ Cress growing kit.
    2. 22 Instagram: @kahoakes ✓ My first science video.
    1. 23 Scholastic ✓ The Magic School Bus books.
    2. 24 Scholastic / Via thestrong.org ✓ The Magic School Bus video games.
    1. 25 Via amazon.co.uk ✓ A wooden dinosaur skeleton.
    2. 26 innovatoys.com ✓ Gyroscope.
    1. 27 ebay.co.uk ✓ Light up flashing gyroscope.
    2. 28 casio.co.uk ✓ A graphical calculator.
    1. 29 thinkgeek.com ✓ Ferrofluid in a jar.
    2. 30 Tellyaddict / en.wikipedia.org ✓ Walkie talkies.
    1. 31 sciencemuseumshop.co.uk ✓ Spy pen.
    2. 32 dropbox.com ✓ Forensics kit.
    1. 33 dropbox.com ✓ Make your own intruder alarm kit.
    2. 34 dropbox.com ✓ Prism.
    1. 35 sciencebobstore.com ✓ Invisible ink pen.
    2. 36 spyemporium.com ✓ Lie detector.
    1. 37 e-fliterc.com ✓ Remote control helicopter.
    2. 38 spottygreenfrog.co.uk ✓ Worm farm.
    1. 39 Flickr: span112 / CC ✓ Homemade volcano with baking soda.
    2. 40 Daniel Christensen / en.wikipedia.org ✓ Cornflour for making non-Newtonian fluid.
    1. 41 Didier Descouens / en.wikipedia.org ✓ Fool’s gold.
    2. 42 Flickr: arenamontanus / CC ✓ Chunk of quartz.
    1. 43 Kelly Oakes / BuzzFeed ✓ Fossils you found on the beach.
    2. 44 Flickr: infobunny / CC ✓ Net for investigating rock pools.
    1. 45 Flickr: xrayspx / CC ✓ Potato clock.
    2. 46 Flickr: stevendepolo / CC ✓ Geode.
    1. 47 Dominique Toussaint / en.wikipedia.org ✓ Newton’s cradle.
    2. 48 Fenners / en.wikipedia.org ✓ Galilean thermometer.
    1. 49 Fun Learning / ebay.co.uk ✓ Solar system model.
    2. 50 Science Museum / amazon.co.uk ✓ Weather station.
    1. 51 4mation.co.uk ✓ Guardians of the Greenwood computer game.
    2. 52 Brøderbund Software / broderbund.com ✓ Logical Journey of the Zoombinis computer game.
    1. 53 mosishop.org.uk ✓ Circuit board notebook.
    2. 54 ✓ Crystal clear smart putty.
    1. 55 Kelly Oakes / BuzzFeed ✓ Fuzzy felt in SPACE.
    2. 56 ✓ Fuzzy felt Dinosaurs.
    1. 57 wildforms.co.uk ✓ Magnifying glass.
    2. 58 rspb.org.uk ✓ RSPB membership.
    1. 59 shopping.rspb.org.uk ✓ Pocket guide to birds.
    2. 60 ebay.co.uk ✓ Pocket guide to fossils.
    1. 61 Collins / amazon.co.uk ✓ Pocket guide to insects.
    2. 62 amazon.co.uk ✓ Pocket guide to butterflies.
    1. 63 wildforms.co.uk ✓ Bug magnifying jars.
    2. 64 tts-group.co.uk ✓ Light up globe.
    1. 65 National Geographic / amazon.co.uk ✓ Atlas.
    2. 66 Booyabazooka / en.wikipedia.org ✓ Rubik’s cube.
    1. 67 toysrus.co.uk ✓ Sea monkeys.
    2. 68 owirobot.com ✓ Robot.
    1. 69 toysrus.co.uk ✓ Make your own buzz wire kit.
    2. 70 amazon.co.uk ✓ How Science Works book.

Show me my results!

How Geeky Were You As A Child?

  1. You weren’t super geeky as a kid. You probably went pond dipping once or twice, but were happier playing sport or making your own fun with your friends. But remember, it’s never too late to embrace your nerdy side.

    Flickr: spencer77 / Creative Commons

  2. You were pretty geeky as a kid. You spent some time experimenting and probably made more than your fair share of homemade volcanoes and rockets. But you were just as happy with other activities too.

    Flickr: span112 / Creative Commons

  3. You were very geeky as a kid. Science was probably one of your favourite subjects at school and you spent most of the holidays geeking out too. I mean, what’s the point of spending a day at the beach if you don’t dig around in some rock pools?

SHARE YOUR RESULTS

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/kellyoakes/were-you-the-school-science-geek