Computer games project aims to boost curriculum and skills

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A project linking computer gaming to the wider curriculum will see pupils creating their own video games in the classroom.

It is all part of a €3.2 million European Union initiative, entitled No One Left Behind, which is set to run over two-and-a-half-years.

Students aged eight to 17 will be responsible for programming and designing games linked to subjects including science, maths, history and English.

Key aims for the project will be to develop academic ability, computational proficiency, creativity and social skills.

The project will adapt the mobile programming environment “Pocket Code”, which allows users to create games, animations and interactive music videos directly on their phone or tablet, for academic curricula.

It is being run by a consortium of European educationalists, computer scientists and video game designers. In the UK, Nottingham Trent University is one of the key partners.

It will initially be piloted in five schools – and by 600 pupils across up to 12 subjects – in the UK, Austria and Spain, before being rolled out more widely.

David Brown, professor of interactive systems for social inclusion in Nottingham Trent University’s School of Science and Technology, said: “Imagine students being challenged to design a game which involves gathering evidence and building arguments to fight their own campaign for the abolition of the British Slave Trade in the late 1770s.

“Or one that involves manipulating shapes using arcade-style games to teach fractions or percentages.

“Children will author these types of games, taking responsibility for the programming, coding, design and graphics, and everything will be carefully tuned into curriculum delivery. We want all students to realise their full potential by making gaming an integral part of the primary and secondary curriculum.

“The project will take advantage of the potential for digital games to tackle key challenges in the education sector today.”


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