Investigating Social Media Potential for Supporting Teachers’ Digital Games Literacy




games literacy, K-12 education, social media, informal learning, teacher games literacy


Digital games have the potential to address a variety of pedagogical objectives across a range of subject areas in education and research shows that teachers are interested to learn about the use of games in teaching. However, due to the lack of professional development opportunities, teachers typically learn about the use of games informally from their peers and on social media. This raises questions about the kind of knowledge that social media resources may be catering to teachers and their relevance for more formalized ways of game literacy development. Further, the reason for the lack of professional development options could be that research is lagging behind in testing and developing systemic models that frame teachers’ knowledge of game-based learning such as the recently proposed Game Literacy for Teacher Education (GLTE) framework. To address the research gap, we investigate the following question: How do social media resources address key literacy areas of the Game Literacy for Teacher Education framework? The study tests the GLTE framework to investigate the research question. Data has been collected between autumn 2021 to spring 2022 from YouTube, Twitch, and Twitter using 1) search words in English, German and Swedish, 2) built-in recommendations and discovery functions, and 3) following links and references. Data relevant to supporting teachers in Digital Game-based Learning (DGBL) at primary and secondary levels in education were included, and 150 multimedia resources were selected for further analysis. Data were deductively coded onto the broad categories of the GLTE framework and descriptive coding was used to explore new categories. Findings show that DGBL resources shared on social media address the key literacy areas of the GLTE framework at least partially while also indicating that conceptualisations of games literacy for teachers need to go beyond technological and pedagogical integration and consider the broader societal role of games and gaming. Based on the findings we propose that game literacy for teachers is conceptualised from a broader social-cultural, critical perspective, and we suggest an updated model and recommendations for future research