A MORI (Market & Opinion Research International) poll in the UK has found that 59 percent of teachers asked would consider using mainstream video games in the classroom for educational purposes, with one third already having done so.
The poll was commissioned as part of Teaching with Games, a research project co-created by NESTA Futurelab, an organization devoted to using technology in education, and publisher Electronic Arts. From the total sample of teachers polled, 91 percent felt that games helped develop motor-cognitive skills, and over 60 percent thought that games could help develop higher order thinking skills and topic-specific knowledge.
The Teaching with Games project aims to explore the practical issues surrounding the use of interactive computer games in schools using three games: The Sims 2
(EA), Roller Coaster Tycoon 3
(Atari) and Knights of Honor
(EA). In the next phase, researchers will work with teachers to develop lesson plans to support the use of games in classrooms. Also, a 'Futures Group' has been formed to build upon findings arising from the research and to present possible future scenarios.
Angela McFarlane, Professor of Education at the University of Bristol and Chair of the 'Futures Group', commented: "There is a great deal of interest in the levels of engagement, and the complex learning, that take place when many young people play games. Early research has shown some powerful outcomes in the classroom, but we need to understand how, when and when not to use games to support education. The Teaching with Games project aims to shed some light on these questions in a way that will be of use to teachers and designers."
Further information on the Teaching with Games project can be found at the NESTA Futurelab website