Project Tomorrow, have conducted a survey into a wide range of subjects relating to education. Talking to children, teachers and parents about how schools are preparing children for the future, focusing heavily on technology.
Part of the survey is on Educational Gaming, an area where I think there is a huge potential. It is also an area that is notorious for bad software. For educational gaming (or brain training or digital fitness) to work, it must be fun but most educational games are dire. For games to teach effectively they must use the same methods and have the same investment in development as a best selling game, but I digress.
The survey found that only 3% of elementary school kids don’t play computer games in one form or another. When asked about the value of gaming technologies within learning, students in grades 6-12 responded with :
Games make it easier to understand difficult concepts – 51%
I would be more engaged in the subject – 50%
I would learn more about the subject – 46% (56% of students in K-2 chose this as their #1 reason)
It would be more interesting to practice problems – 44%
Indicating that children what to learn through games because they understand how games allow them to explore, to practice and develop skills at their own pace and in their own way.
Though educational games are not universally supported, over 50% of teachers want to use games more and 11% said they currently use games.
Source: 21st Century Students Deserve a 21st Century Education [ PDF ]. The section about games is on page 4.