Mobile Digital Games as an Educational Tool in K-12 Schools

  • Helen CromptonEmail author
  • Yi-Ching Lin
  • Diane Burke
  • Alana Block
Part of the Perspectives on Rethinking and Reforming Education book series (PRRE)


Games are one of the most elemental and basic of human activities that interest people of all ages. Mobile digital games can be used as a beneficial educational tool to enhance teaching, promote student learning, achievement, growth, and development as well as to cultivate students’ twenty-first century skills. The aim of this chapter is to discuss how educators can use digital gaming as an instructional tool in their classroom, regardless of age level or subject area, and thus transform their students into active participants and increase their student achievement levels. This paper examines core aspects of digital gaming, the benefits of digital gaming as well as its limitations such as the challenge of determining the appropriate technology to align with pedagogy and age level. Suggestions are offered as to how the issues can be addressed and concluded with implications for future study.


Game-based learning Digital games Mobile digital games Technological games Digital gaming Educational tools 



Twenty-first century skills

a series of higher-order thinking skills which have been identified in many disciplines including schools and workplace to succeed in twenty-first century.

Constructivist theory of education

it connects educational content with computer or mobile digital games which can be used in almost all subjects and skill levels.

Controller interface

mouse, joysticks, or keyboards.

Cooperative gaming

a game provides interaction with other learners to solve problems together.

Error–feedback reconstruction

learners’ knowledge is built through continuous error and correct feedback during the learning process.

Intrinsic motivation

self-desire to seek out and gain new knowledge.

Mental quickness

the cognitive speed of processing information.


higher-level cognition or problem-solving skills.


vision, audition, touch, smell, taste, etc., all work together.

Mobile digital games

digital games such as video games implemented in a mobile interface.

Strategic reflective questions or scaffolding reflection

The questions could facilitate learners to reflect their learning. For example, “what is the most important aspect about mathematics you learned from this game? What strategy did they use to help you to play this game? What was tricky about this game? Can you connect the math that you learned in this game to something you learned in class? How is this knowledge useful outside the classroom? What was the most fun thing about the game? How did you feel when you played the game? What were your strengths when playing the game? What advice would you give to someone to play the game in the future?”

Virtual world

a computer-based simulated environment allows learners to learn and solve problem as in a real-world setting.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helen Crompton
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yi-Ching Lin
    • 1
  • Diane Burke
    • 1
  • Alana Block
    • 1
  1. 1.Old Dominion UniversityNorfolkUSA

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