I’m over in Singapore this week at the ICET 2007 conference. The title of this year’s conference is, Rethinking Pedagogies: Creating Possibilities through Digital & Interactive Media. I was kindly invited and sponsored by the British Council in Singapore to come out to the conference and present what has been happening with games based learning via the Consolarium and this is due to happen this afternoon…
I’m glad to say that after a fantastic night’s sleep (the jet-lag was terrible, no sleep on the first night at all) I am feeling particularly chirpy this morning and ready to go. The atmosphere within the conference had helped because everyone is so positive and interested in what is going on and what is being said.
Yesterday’s opening remarks from the Deputy Education Minster proved to be very interesting for me. Games based learning was mentioned a number of times by her and she saw this as part of:
“...The seamless and pervasive integration of ICT into teaching and learning.”
She also felt that approaches such a problem based learning and games based learning would help:
“…prepare students for a rapidly changing world so that they can adapt to what they don’t know or what they can’t do at present.”
Quite a powerful vision I thought. This was not just words though. The Singapore Government have been working with local industry and academic partners to try to make games based learning a part of what is happening in schools within the island state. Yesterday, I went along to two presentations that detailed the development of two games that will be delivered to all schools.
One is called Statecraft and it is a History game that puts you in the place of a medieval Emperor in either South East Asia, China or India. You have to make decisions about developing and maintaining the power, health and wealth of the state and of your own position. It’s still in development but it looked quite engaging.
The other games was called Simplicity and is a geography based game that looks at how you can develop a city from a third world to a first world state. They have packaged this up so that it looks like Singapore in geographical terms and again it looks rather impressive.
The company that they are working with on these games is called Playware Studios
Games based learning in classrooms it seems is something that Singapore has already switched itself on to and I look forward to hearing what they think about the way we have begun to do similar things in Scotland.