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Knowledge From the Field

Game Changer: Investing in Digital Play to Advance Children's Learning and Health

Published: June 2009

Publisher(s): Joan Ganz Cooney Center

Author(s): Thai, Ann My; Dixie Ching; David Lowenstein; David Rejeski

Funder(s): Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

View Report (64 pages; 659KB; PDF)

Area of Focus: Digital Learning


This report explores available literature and input from digital learning experts to outline the constructive use of digital gaming to improve health and education. It offers recommendations and resources for research and advocacy to promote the integration of digital gaming into children’s education and includes examples of games for health and games for learning.

Key Findings and/or Recommendations

+Digital games can promote learning and positive educational and health outcomes.

+Digital learning more closely reflects the world that many students grow up in outside of the classroom.

=Research is needed to fully understand how to leverage digital gaming’s popularity into learning and improved health.

=Adults and parents should be included so that they understand the benefits of digital gaming and can offer support and encouragement to children to promote positive outcomes.

=Public media should be modernized to support broad, level playing-field educational resources.

=Public dialog on digital gaming should shift away from the negative aspects that often dominate discussion to focus on the positive potential for education that gaming holds.

–Investment in digital learning is unfocused and nebulous; a more strategic focus needs to be developed among those invested in promoting digital learning.

Geographic Focus: National

Subjects/Keywords: Digital learning; health; science/technology; games

+ Successful strategy
= Observation
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