Game-based Learning in the Classroom

Games & Videos Go Mainstream in the Classroom

The recently released results from the annual Speak Up survey conducted by Project Tomorrow reveals that teachers’ use of game-based environments and online apps has doubled in the last six years to 48%. Use of online videos is now at 68%.

This year’s survey report, From Print to Pixel: The role of videos, games, animations, and simulations within K-12 education, is based on more than 500,000 responses from students, educators, and parents.

Nearly half of administrators, both building- and district-based, said they are implementing game-based learning to enhance student achievement and teacher effectiveness. Yet, 38% of school administrators and 47% of district administrators said they have not implemented game-based learning, nor do they expect to. For administrators, getting teachers to change their practice has been mostly a struggle.

One can make the argument that to some degree, the big shift to digital technology is being driven by the students themselves and their families as out-of-school life is filled with digital technology. Many schools struggle to keep up.

“As parent and educators become more familiar with mobile devices and digital content to improve their own work, we’ve seen that they are increasingly using mobile technology as a tool for their children and students to learn differently,” said Angela Baker, senior manager of Government Affairs of Qualcomm Incorporated, one of the sponsors of Speak Up. “Mobile devices with internet connectivity create educational opportunities for students anytime, anywhere.”

According to survey results, 50% teachers are increasingly looking for professional development to learn how to better use games within instruction. The demand exceeds the supply as only 27% of district administrators said that they are providing teachers with instruction in game-based learning.

Teachers are also looking for approved and curated instructional content organized by grade level and content area to support their integration of digital content. Other educators are looking for planning time to work with colleagues (57%), want coaching on how to find and use quality digital resources (36%) and digital tools to organize and track their digital resources (28%).

As students use more digital tools, the issue of available connectivity grows in importance. 35% of students reported that they went to school early or stayed late to access the school’s internet. 24% connect via public libraries and 19% said they go to fast food restaurants and cafes for internet access.

Speak Up is an initiative of Project Tomorrow®, the leading global education nonprofit dedicated to the empowerment of student voices in education. The project polls K-12 students, parents and educators every year about the role of technology in and out of school. You can find a copy of this year’s survey here.