Although I was already a keen user of games in the classroom this chance observation of the power of COTS (Commercial off the Shelf) games gave birth to my interest and passion for games based learning. Two years as an ICT staff tutor in Dundee City Council was followed by a position as a lecturer on the B.Ed(P) and PGDE(P) courses at the University of Dundee. This position allowed me to establish games based learning as a topic of study for my teaching students and then to my successful application to lead games based learning initiatives at a National level for Learning and Teaching Scotland via the Consolarium: The Scottish Centre for Games and Learning.
I have been partnering local authorities and showcasing teachers innovative practice from across Scotland to explore the impact of computer games in the classroom and have een contributing to the growing body of work that is helping to change the discourse about the position and practical application of games based learning in classrooms. Working for a Scottish Government body has allowed me the chance to lead the practice of using commercially available computer games as learning tools and I hope that I have played some part in embedding this practice in classrooms across Scotland and further afield.
The work that I led in Scottish schools was recognised with the award of the Handheld Learning Special Achievement Award in 2008 and the NAACE 2012 Award for Adviser, Consultant, Service. This video summarised my work for the NAACE judges:
I has also led the team that endeavoured to ensure that a culture of creation and not just consumption is beginning to grow in Scottish schools by leading the team that did the earlier work on establishing computer games design in Scottish schools. Through his work I have formed strong relationships with other many others interested in the area of game based learning and the field of learning in general.