There's no stopping the trend: children are coming into contact with computers earlier and more intensively& co. This worries parents.
However, too little is seen of how well computers can challenge children, says wolfgang lenhard of the chair of educational psychology at the university of wurzburg.
A PC game developed by him and published under the title "denkspiele mit elfe und mathis" (thinking games with elf and mathis) the market has been proven to make children smarter.
Living out your desire to play and gaining IQ points as a bonus without any effort – can it work?? Yes, it can, showed lenhard, who had recorded the "thinking games with elf and mathis" for two years, together with his wife, the learning psychologist alexandra lenhard, and the emeritus educationalist karl josef klauer from coln, he developed. "We embed different tasks in a treasure hunt", explains the psychologist. When the children search for the treasure, they have to solve riddles that train their powers of observation and logical thinking," he said. Lenhard found out that they gain intelligence points by doing research with french schoolchildren.
Teachers should not only teach children to be critical of chat, newsgroups and the cell phone, the 38-year-old psychologist appeals. They should also be trained to specifically use new media to challenge the schools.
From the rebellious theses of one manfred spitzer, who in numerous lectures has warned against "digital dementia" the researcher from the university of wurzburg emphatically distances himself from the warnings. Because according to his research, children benefit from virtual learning materials without being harmed in the process. Lenhard contrasts spitzers often vague claims with reliable data from his evaluations. According to this, the effects of the brain game he helped to develop are particularly noticeable in forderschulern and in elementary school children with deficits. The important thing in learning is that the 120 tasks are drawn together: "three to four children sit in front of the computer. For each task, they think together about the correct solution."
Better than on paper
It makes sense that sophisticated brain games can make children smarter. But is it really better to play them on the computer?? Are the paper trainings in thinking published by karl josef klauer between 1989 and 1993 not enough?? They are also good, as numerous studies have shown. "But our research shows that thinking training on the computer is even better", according to lenhard. This is probably due to the fact that the children find the journey through elfin country exciting. Your motivation to solve the riddles and the "blue diamond of wisdom close to come, remain high for weeks.
The tasks prove to be increasingly tricky during the long journey through elfin land. One of the first tasks is to recognize that the color "yellow" is the same as "red the common feature of different objects is that the degree of difficulty increases significantly in a task with five glaziers. They are lined up as follows: the first three jars are filled, the last two are blank. Two glasses are wrong. Which could be? If the answer is wrong, old osarion, voiced by karl josef klauer, speaks up. With the right solution, elfe praises.
The fact that the computer game costs 99 euros has nothing to do with money-making, says lenhard. The investment costs for the game, which was developed by only three people, were high. And hogreve, where it is distributed, is a small publishing house. "The game is also less intended for families", according to lenhard. Daycare centers, schools and therapists are the target groups. Interest in the computer version of the preserved klauerschen thinking games is great, 500 copies have been sold in the meantime. What motivates lenhard to develop further computer-based training at the university of wurzburg – even though skepticism is rude in some quarters.
In an international comparison, germany falls behind in the use of computers in schools far off, regrets the psychologist.
Lenhard: "no other OECD country is as reluctant as germany."
Teaching the right way to ride
Of course, the fear that children could be harmed by media violence or excessive media consumption was justified: "but roads are also dangerous because of the cars. Still, you can't forbid children to go on the road." They could only be taught the right behavior in traffic. In the same way that new media had to be used to teach children how to use computers, playstations and cell phones sensibly, the game is also less of a family game.