Relations between the use of computers, motivation and performance of elementary school students in mathematics contents had been analyzed. It was used a quasi-experimental design with an experimental group and two control groups. In the daily pre-test, the knowledge of mathematics contents and the motivation to go to school were evaluated. The experimental group (EG) projected and constructed games using the computer; the control group (CG 1) only worked with pencil and paper (both with access to tutorials); and the control group (CG 2) attended regular classes. In the ending of the study every participant was evaluated for a second time regarding the content and the motivation, with the same instruments used in the daily pre-test. Thirty days later, the participants of CG 1 and EG were once again evaluated regarding mathematics contents which had been worked during the intervention. The results showed that the pupils of the EG were better motivated than the ones of the CG 2, indicating that the use of the computer has important implications for the engagement and persistence of students in academic tasks.
Elementary education; theory of self-determination; motivation; computer; learning