The Joan Ganz Cooney Center surveyed K-8 teachers from across the United States on whether and how they are using digital games with their students, and found that:
- Digital games have landed in K-8 classrooms.
- Gender does not predict digital game use in instruction, but younger teachers, those who teach at schools serving low-income students, and teachers who play digital games for their own pleasure are more likely to use games with their students.
- Teachers who use games more often report greater improvement in their students’ core and supplemental skills.
- Four out of five game-using teachers say their students primarily play games created for an educational audience, compared to just 5% whose students most often play commercial games.
- Few teachers are using learning games of the immersive variety, the kind that lend themselves to deep exploration and participation in the types of activities that set digital games apart from more didactic forms of instruction.
- Educators who do not teach with digital games are more likely than game-using teachers to report that they are “not sure how to integrate games” into their teaching, suggesting how consequential this uncertainty can be.
- Teachers are learning to teach with digital games via more informal means (i.e., from fellow teachers and by self teaching) than formal training programs (i.e., pre-service and in-service).
- Nearly three quarters (71%) of digital game-using teachers report that games have been effective in improving their students’ mathematics learning.
Takeuchi, L. M., & Vaala, S. (2014). Level up learning: A national survey on teaching with digital games. New York: The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop. http://www.joanganzcooneycenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/jgcc_leveluplearning_final.pdf