Study on Using Games in Classrooms

We have already talked about how teachers are using digital games in classrooms, but we didn’t touch on how prevalent this new trend has become. A new report from the Games and Learning Publishing Counsel takes a look at how kindergarten through eight-grade teachers are actually using games in classrooms.

Disclosure, the study was based on research funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, also a client of Mobility Labs.

The biggest finding of the report is that 74% of K-8 teachers are using digital games for instruction. A large portion of these teachers are using the games to deliver mandatory content, and a smaller percentage (33%) are using them for assessment as well.

The report finds that, though teacher are more and more using digital games, many are not using them as effectively as they could be. It’s important to note that the survey does not claim to establish the value of using the games in this way, that is taken as a given based on previous research. And, of course, the Games and Learning Publishing Counsel is not completely unbiased. But the conclusions are still worth discussing.

“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.”

The report closes with the following recommendations:


  • Establish an industry-wide framework for describing and evaluating educational games
  • Elevate awareness of alternative means of inte- grating games into instruction
  • Invest in the creation of innovative integration models for classroom digital gameplay.
  • Provide universal technology training for  pre-service teachers.
  • Create and promote online training resources
  • Conduct follow-up research and share widely with stakeholders.

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