You are invited to a one day conference for
Scottish Computing Educators on June 11th 2010 at Heriot-Watt
University.We are very pleased to have a line up of international
highly respected speakers including Karen Brennan from MIT to talk about the
educators' community in Scratch, and Jane Margolis and Alan Fisher to talk
about gender equality in CS instruction. There are also various panels with
input from industry, and also from the SQA about upcoming changes to computing
qualifications. For more details Download ComputingEducatorConference2010.
I ventured south earlier in July to join the United Kingdom Literacy Association's international conference entitled 'Making Connections: Building literate communities in and beyond the classroom', and gave AA its first real airing in literacy circles. Our work was greeted with enthusiasm and seems to contribute to the latest thinking about new ways in which children are reading, writing and learning. It was a great few days, with lots of opportunities to catch up on the latest research and practice and I met a host of fascinating people - not least lots of folk whose books I've been reading, including Kate Pahl, Debra Myhill, Eve Bearne, Jackie Marsh and Teresa Cremin. How exciting to meet them in person!! Great contacts made, too, both here and in other parts of the world, so ideas will continue to be exchanged.
Our seminar was entitled 'Adventure Author': Storymaking through computer game design and I've attached our slides in case you want to see what we said, but I'm afraid it's a pretty big file - lots of screenshots: Download Storymaking through computer game design updated notes. If you do succeed in downloading them, the notes view will help you to make sense of the thinking behind some of the slides.
The United Kingdom Literacy Association's 45th international conference is called 'Making Connections: Building literate communities in and beyond the classroom' and we are thrilled to have been given a slot to talk about 'Adventure Author and storymaking through computer game design' (Saturday 11 July at 1.30pm), an exciting opportunity to share some of the literacy-related aspects of our work. Alas, not for us the exotic locations so often favoured by international gatherings - we will be taking the floor at Greenwich University in London, but the environs are beautiful and we will be in great company, so we don't mind at all!
Our blurb for the seminar reads as follows:
'Adventure Author and storymaking through computer game design'
"The creation of computer games provides an intriguing encounter between 20th and 21st century literacies, and challenges us to revisit our understanding of 'writing', 'reading' and 'text' - as the Adventure Author project at Heriot Watt University has been discovering through its work on creativity and computer game design with 10-14 year olds.
"Computer game design is a creative, motivating, pupil-centred experience that harnesses the children’s own culture and allows them to read, write and learn in new ways. Kress and others talk of the ‘multimodal’ nature of some texts, but the term ‘multidimensional’ seems to better encompass the interactive and 3D nature of these games. We see conventional writing at work, but also gain insights into ways pupils use the visual, spatial and interactive elements of game design to contribute to the storymaking process, carrying meaning beyond words. What could be the implications for teaching about texts in the 21st century?
"The theoretical discussion in this presentation will be accompanied by analysis of games made by children during a classroom field study.
"N.B. ‘Adventure Author’is a freely available game creation tool for children aged 10-14, a modification of the Neverwinter Nights 2 game-making toolset for designing and building interactive stories."
I'm giving a free talk at Heriot-Watt University on Fri 8th May about teaching game making within the Curriculum for Excellence. It's at 2pm - 4pm in room CM G01 in the Colin McClaurin building. All welcome, but post a comment if you intend to come so I can order enough biscuits!
Judy and I presented our latest thinking about gamemaking and storytelling when we spoke at the Creative Sparks conference in Edinburgh at the end of February. The day was organised by the Scottish Book Trust to promote and celebrate creative writing, and we were delighted to share our digital take on this area of language.
We have been analysing the games produced during the Campie school project last year and our thinking about the processes the children use has continued to evolve. We are particularly interested in the ways in which Gunther Kress's concept of reading pathways develops when considered in a 3D, 360 degree, interactive, immersive environment, and have noted the importance of what we are calling 'story locations' and 'narrative vehicles' in helping these pathways emerge. Children are creating their stories using more than language, thinking in visual, spatial and logical ways to make a game in which their story can be told. We are excited by the realisation that the children are behaving in new ways as writers and readers, with important implications for both teachers and learners.
We feel there is much here to fulfil the cross-curricular requirements of A Curriculum for Excellence: the literacy and English guidelines call for future-proof texts, technology the making of computer games; the Adventure Author approach offers a creative and motivating way forward for schools who are wondering how to meet these new objectives.
Download our slides, and do contact us if you would like to know more.
7th International Conference on Imagination and Education
July 15-18, 2009
Coast Hotel, English Bay
During the past decade engaging and developing the imagination has come to the forefront as essential to building more educated, just, and sustainable societies. This 7th International Conference on Imagination and Education continues to build on growing interest around the world in the role of imagination in teaching and learning not only in schools, but also in a wide variety of educational settings that include museums, outdoor and experiential venues, and new media applications such as on-line games and social networks.
This year, the IERG at Simon Fraser University again invites researchers, educators, practitioners, students, and policymakers to join us in continuing to shift the paradigms of theory and practice in education. We welcome proposals on a diverse range of research from our local and international community that includes but is not limited to:
* Teacher Education
* Museum Education
* Ecological Education
* Arts-Based Education
* Science Education
* Technology and Media Studies
* Oral Language Education.
A two-day pre-conference workshop organized and presented by IERG will provide a comprehensive overview of imaginative education theory and practice, aimed at building participants' expertise in using and teaching Imaginative Education.
Keynote: Eleanor Duckworth, Harvard University. (Author of The Having of Wonderful Ideas, Tell Me More: Listening to Learners Explain, etc.)
Program Committee: Kieran Egan, Mark Fettes, Sean Blenkinsop
This year the conference returns to its English Bay setting and participants will be able to enjoy Vancouver's superb setting, our usual outstanding guest speakers, the very popular dinner cruise up Indian Arm fjord, performers, good food, and plentiful opportunities for networking with colleagues from over 20 countries.
Full details of submission requirements and other conference information will be available shortly on our Web site: www.ierg.net
Cathrin and I are doing some seminars at The Scottish Book Trust's Creative Sparks Conference on Friday. It's at the Corn Exchange in Edinburgh - come along if you can still book tickets. I am also doing a talk for computing teachers at Forrester High School, Edinburgh on Monday 2nd March 4.30pm about teaching game making. If you fancy coming along, check with Raymond Simpson at South Queensferry High School who is organising it.
Adventure Author is creativity support software aimed at 12 – 14 year old users. It was developed using a learner centred design process in consultation with pupils and teachers and has been iteratively evaluated in several classroom and informal education settings throughout the process. The software supports learners through the process of creating their own 3D computer games at the problem finding, problem solving and external validation phases of the creative process. The system is significant because it is based on a theoretical model of the phases of the creative process which was developed based on extensive field observation and literature review. It is novel because although various researchers are investigating aspects of game authoring such as programming skills to the development on new media literacy, Adventure Author focuses on supporting the creative process.
Proposed Demonstration at Interactive Event
Conference attendees will be invited to try out Adventure Author at their own pace. Features they may choose to play with include: • Fridge Magnets – to store, categorise, synthesise and review ideas;
More great photos of NILE 2008, courtesy of Fareed Albayat. Unfortunately there's too many to post individually, but you can download the full set of 49 photos here (.rar, 44mb) as a zipped file - right click and select Save As to download. Thanks very much to Fareed for these.
The slides from Katy Howland's talk are now available for download - thanks Katy. If anyone else wants to make their slides available, you can email them to email@example.com and I'll put them up.