Perceptions of Video Games in Education by PK-12 Public School Administrators in Connecticut

Date of Completion

January 2012


Education, Administration|Education, Educational Psychology|Education, Technology of




Researchers and policy-makers, alike, need to focus on collaborating with administrators, teachers, schools, and game designers to optimize the use, and support the exploration and research of the value of video games (especially MMORGs) in educational settings. This study was designed for educational researchers and policy-makers to gain a better understanding of PK-12 administrator interest in video games in education settings. Two related questions presented in the study are (1) What are Connecticut (CT) administrator perceptions of the use and usefulness of video games in educational setting?; and (2) How is what the administrators know or think related to their own experiences in education and with video games? The researcher used a two-part hybrid methodology—combining qualitative and quantitative analysis. Part 1 consists of a random, stratified sample of 297 PK-12 educators who participated in an online survey, which collected their perceptions and concerns of the use of video games in educational settings. Part 2 was in-depth follow-up interviews with a subset 15 of the PK-12 Public School administrators who participated in Part 1. ^ Non-parametric statistical analyses were used. Two-way contingency analyses found differences in perceptions and concerns for (1) those who considered themselves gamers, as compared to non-gamers, and (2) parents vs. non-parents. Additionally, exploratory logistical analyses found a few statistically significant, yet relatively uninteresting, models that weakly predicted membership as a gamer/non-gamer and the concern that "Games will waste valuable instructional time for students if used in classrooms." The interviews provided evidence of vicarious video game experience and perception building in parents. Part 2 also highlighted the need for school administrators to reflect on video games and 21st century education, as many interviewees reported not having thought about video games until asked in this study. Calls for change in educational policy, including suggestions for modifying administrator preparation, and professional development for educators to better understand the educational affordances of video games in 21st century education are provided. ^