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Digital games still face uphill climb

A new report notes barriers to widespread use, offers recommendations for publishers

Digital games still face uphill climb

Emerging K-12 policies and practices are creating more opportunities for educational game publishers.

For developers and publishers of digital games to penetrate the education market, they must overcome several significant barriers to digital game implementation, including funding and teacher professional development, according to a new report from the nonprofit Joan Ganz Cooney Center.

According to “Games for a Digital Age: K-12 Market Map and Investment Analysis,” the landscape for K-12 educational digital games varies, and games must be flexible to meet different learning needs and environments.

Developers of children’s learning games often split into two categories: short-form games, which offer tools for practice and focused concepts and fit easily into a class period; and long-form games that have more of a research base and focus more on higher-order thinking skills that naturally align with the Common Core.

The report also identifies a number of trends that might indicate more acceptance of children’s learning games in the K-12 marketplace.

(Next page: Barriers to implementation, and key recommendations)

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