Is there a relationship between the Play Attention program and improved student achievement?

Jenny Ann Webber

Abstract

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and its effects on student academic achievement have been researched for many years. There have been many interventions that have been used in treating ADHD that have been found successful when implemented consistently. Some of the interventions that have been researched in the past are behavior modification, pharmacotherapy with stimulants, educational interventions, and a combination of these. Play Attention is an intervention that incorporates aspects of behavior modification through computerized cognitive-training, which utilizes feedback-based technology. Through Play Attention, students wear a helmet or armband embedded with sensors. These sensors read students' brain activity in order to monitor their levels of focus. It helps students develop skills in attention stamina, short-term memory, hand-eye coordination, discriminatory processing, and time on task, thereby altering their inattentive behavior. Play Attention allows students to create their own knowledge and meaning of inattentiveness by making inattention visible through the different games of the program, thereby allowing students to improve on these weak skills. This new knowledge is analyzed through a journal that students complete after each session of play.