Games in Schools conference // round table
The afternoon round table focused on the topic 'Electronic games: shaping their contribution to innovative schooling'. It included contributions from:
- Evelyn Bevort - Centre de liaison de l'enseignement et des medias de l'information (moderator)
- Alton Grizzle - UNESCO Communication and Information section
- Jean Menu - Cite des sciences et de l'industrie / Chamber of commerce of Valenciennes
- Ben Williamson - Futurelab.
Left to right: Evelyn Bevort, Alton Grizzle
Alton Grizzle - UNESCO
Alton first mentioned a little bit about himself, as regards Games in Schools, he wanted to share a quotation about the Gulf War seen as a 'video game' war. There are indeed many similarities between media and electronic games. Such as the possibilities to construct and reconstruct realities.
Alton also mentioned several characteristics of video games. UNESCO believe that games should be culturally different to adapt to public. The cognitive process is important, will everyone learn from games? And what elements are contained in games?
He remarked, that media and technology offer great opportunities to learn, however there is also the more important question of meta cognition or knowing how we learn.
In conclusion, he stated that media literacy should be complemented by other types of literacies which are emerging such as 'social network literacy' or 'twitter-literacy'.
UNESCO games can contribute to quality education. And Mr Grizzle also mentioned that UNESCO would be pleased to take part in further initiatives to look at how games are used in schools.
Jean Menu - Cite des Sciences et de l'Industrie
He was struck by the session on the study which was given in the morning which looked at 'use' of the games - but what about the production of games?
Jean Menu showed a presentation indicating that Europe did not jump on the bandwagon of development of videogames. Most of the game producers were initially American and Japanese. Competition is very hard, two countries in the world have heavily invested to become world leader in the production of video games: Canada and Korea.
• However interesting to see that educators are changing the definition of ‘serious games’ - Derek mentioned this morning that any game can be ‘serious’ if used in a serious way.
• Games can also be a major economic driver: in South Korea and Canada. Games development contributes strongly to
• The Cite des Sciences et de l’Industrie plans to also address the issues of communicating about science topics, via a call for proposals for game development on topics such as health, sustainable development, and more
• In Valenciennes, there will also be a games ‘technopole’ created and a Serious Games Lab. This will help to study more about games in schools in France, and even at EU level.
Ben Williamson - Futurelab
Ben remarked, that when you play games, you start to understand the world around you and the structures involved. Children don’t realize this and we need to help them
There is a lot of hype around games though – particularly because of North American researchers. In the experience of Futurelab, most teachers don’t really use them as they aren’t as familiar for teachers as they are for students.
However, bringing them in to the classroom really ‘democratises’ the classroom by recognizing that games, although a leisure activity, are valuable and can have educational use. Games are quite persuasive, games try to persuade players to agree with the way they present the world and how their system works.
Games can also be based on ‘reality’: for instance Climate Challenge is an interesting example as it’s based on real climate data.