Readers of this blog, as clever and pretty as they undoubtedly are, may not have come across the Consolarium before. Describing itself as the ‘Scottish Centre For Games & Learning’, the Consolarium uses commercially available games – hardware and titles – within classrooms. Side stepping the serious games sector and instead looking at how to use games children are familiar with, in an educational context. It’s really rather cool.
The Consolarium is itself, part of a larger organisation, Learning & Teaching Scotland, which looks at the use of technology, ICT and digital media in Scottish education.
It’s a fascinating topic and one which deserves far more widespread recognition for the hard work it has done in getting digital media – and games in particular – into classrooms, when much of the country has considered gaming at best a bad habit and at worst, degenerate and causing rickets.
Now there’s a way to find out more about the Consolarium and LTS. Game To Learn is Scotland’s largest game-based-learning conference, a new, free, event, taking place in Dundee on March 17th – 19th.
The three days offer a diverse range of activities. On Thursday 17th, there is a 24 hour ‘codebash’, in which teams will be challenged to create an educational game. Teams of two (developer and specialist) will be randomly chosen, with prizes awarded on the Friday for the most inspiring examples. If you are interested in participating (or know someone who might be), e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, subject area and the institution/organisation you’re attached to.
Friday’s conference is hosted by Dundee College and is aimed at staff from schoools, colleges and universities. Alongside a full-to-bursting conference programme, the output from the Codebash will be presented and rewarded.
Saturday’s conference is hosted at Abertay University focuses on games within schools. Presentations and case studies in the morning will show how games and game technology has been used within schools in the recent past. The afternoon will have a series of workshops which attendees can choose from, highlighting various issues in implementing game-based learning.
You can find out more about Game To Learn on the conference’s web site.