All posts in the ‘Consolarium visits’ Category
- May 27th, 2010
- Comments: 2 Comments » Tags: Tags: andrea reid, cathkin, cfe, eyepet, hmie, liz mercer, nursery, South Lanarkshire
: Categories Added Value, Consolarium, Consolarium visits, cross-curricular, game based learning, Games we have, Literacy, Multi-player games, Numeracy, Parents, rich tasks, South Lanarkshire
For a number of months I have been doing some work in and around South Lanarkshire authority, first of all with Aubrey Taylor from the Advisory Service running staff development and latterly with the support of Andrea Reid QIO in a number of primary and nursery schools. It’s really great seeing so many forward thinking folks in education in such close proximity to each other. A good number of schools are running their own GBL topics with and really staring to get great results from their work.
Cathkin Community Nursery
In particular I enjoyed visiting Cathkin Community Nursery which , with the support of Andrea Reid, has been undertaking a topic on pets which has included input from a special pet called “Eyepet” which comes as software on the PS3. Check the video below for a wee flavour of the kinds of things he can do..
The steps shown in the video are only a small part of how the nursery went about planning and implementing a project with Eyepet, but a case study exemplification will be produced and shared over the next couple of months.
I had never seen a GBL topic wholly undertaken in the nursery setting so I was intrigued to find out how they had gone about it. Liz Mercer the Head of Nursery was delighted with the way the project worked and how well it involved the children and their families.
“We are thoroughly enjoying our eyepets. They are part of our family now and the children have taken to them so well. Each group had adopted an eyepet, where they nurture and care for him/her. Some children have also created their own eyepet using a variety of materials. They are fab and on display in the room where eyepet lives and breathes.”
Open Doors Event
Cathkin Community Nursery then took the expertise they had gained from running Eyepet as part of their project and held an open doors event where the Early Years workers shared their experience of using Eyepet and how it tied to the curriculum with colleagues from South Lanarkshire. There were also a number of other brilliant presentations on involving parents and involving children in the planning process and digital learning books. The evaluations from this event were wholly positive and it was great to see CPD opportunities like this being provided by practitioners for practitioners. Liz and the team are real advocates of CfE, and you can see from the slideshow below how that looks in practice when undertaking the Eyepet project.
You may also be interested in reading the thoughts of HMIE about this nursery. Their report was published today and all areas of their work were graded as Excellent and HMIE thought their work with Eyepet was wonderful.
“Staff provide a very well-balanced curriculum firmly based on play, active learning and enjoyment. High quality staff interaction, a stimulating environment and very well planned use of resources support children’s progress most effectively”
We currently have a number of Eyepets out on loan across Scotland at the moment, some as transition projects and some as literacy focus work and the pictures below are of some of the reactions of children watching their Eyepet hatch and some of the work that has come out of looking after their Eyepet.
Home School Partnership
As a follow on to that I attended a couple of parent workshops run by Colin Venters from South Lanarkshire’s Home School Partnership, encouraging parents to see the potential of their child’s use of gaming consoles as a positive chance for meaningful interaction between themselves and their child. Hear below what Colin and some of the parents who visited had to say about these sessions.More
- February 17th, 2010
- Comments: none Tags: Tags: glasgow, Glow, Highland, mangahigh
: Categories Consolarium, Consolarium visits, Dundee City, Glow
Quite a lot of big projects going on at the moment, so a lot to juggle and loads of very interesting, positive findings coming out of the work being undertaken. Our MangaHigh pilot will be coming to end within the next few weeks. We will then have some data to examine and measure the impact of it’s use across a number of secondary schools in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Should be really interesting. Great to see Cleveden, Lochend, Knightswood and Jordanhill in the top ten scorers for this round and well done to Jordanhill, Lourdes and Cleveden who are also in the all time top ten league.
I am heading back up to Highland to visit schools in Castletown, Dornoch and Alvie who along with Dingwall Primary have been undertaking GBL topics using a range of games as part of the Highland Literacy Project. Initial reports are very positive and I am very much looking forward to getting reacquainted with the children and schools over the next week or two. Hear some of the initial thoughts from Dingwall and Alvie below
This week will also see me delivering to a range of Dundee City teachers at a CPD event run by Louise Henderson and the team from Dundee City (check the Glow Group for links to the work they have been undertaking) and then Brian Clark and Myself are heading to Dundee University to show a range of students the kinds of experiences GBL can offer.
As an aside I have also undertaken my Glow mentor training so hopefully the Consolarium Glow Group will continue to improve. Why don’t you check it out and get yourself involved in some of the conversations or start one of your own.More
- December 15th, 2009
- Comments: none Tags: Tags: Consolarium, games based learning, heppell, Nintendogs, Wild Earth African Safari
: Categories Aberdeen, Consolarium, Consolarium visits, game based learning, Games we have, Highland, Literacy, Nintendo, writing
Over the last wee while I have been visiting schools to see the impact of some ongoing projects. I visited Tullos Primary in Aberdeen where a class of primary 6 children have been undertaking a Wild Earth African Safari. I popped in to see a primary 3 class in Dingwall Primary working on a Nintendogs project and then off to Alvie Primary in Kincraig near Aviemore where a composite p 3/4/5 were taking on their own African Safari.
In Tullos Primary the teacher undertaking the project spoke about her experience at an InService day and the rest of the staff were so impressed by the potential that they will be purchasing gaming technology of their own so games based learning can be extended throughout the school.
In Dingwall primary the children have been using their Nintendogs to enhance and improve literacy. Both management and class teacher have been amazed by the impact and how the desire to write and reach an audience outside the school, through their blog, has moved the learning of all the class forward.
From Alvie Primary the teacher has tied the whole experience together as an enterprise Activity and will showcase the work for parents in a Safari afternoon. She also reckons that when the wii is returned to the Consolarium it will have a whole class of children attached to it who will not let it go!
“Play is something that ICT has been bringing into learning from the very beginning. ICT in learning holds the potential to bring back playfulness and engagement…”
Guardian, Tuesday 8th December, Education Supplement
The Games based learning approach taps straight into this potential and, for those of us working in the Consolarium, we are lucky enough to see practical examples of the impact of this everywhere we go. Share the joy! If you and your class or school are using games based learning then please let us know and share your good practice.More
- December 8th, 2009
- Comments: 3 Comments » Tags: Tags: Burravoe, Consolarium, games based learning, Glow, Shetland, Wii, Wild Earth African Safari
: Categories Added Value, Consolarium visits, game based learning, Games we have, Glow, Literacy, Nintendo, writing
“No man is an island”
John Donne espoused that we are all connected and I think that we are all the better for it. Having connections whether familial, social or professional enriches all that we do and extends, supports and challenges us.
I have been thinking recently about the way my learning has changed now that I am no longer in a school setting and how much I relied on the people in my school staff to bounce ideas off, to rant to, to use the experience of and to laugh with. Now that I no longer have a physical staffroom to use I have found myself using the skills and knowledge of a different set of people in a very different way. I have a virtual staffroom, open 24hrs a day containing a set of people from all over the world, with a huge array of skills and experience which I can tap into, and who generously share their learning. I use Twitter. There, I’ve said it and it doesn’t make me a bad person!
One of the first people I was in contact with in my very early days of twitter was Caroline Breyley, the headteacher of Burravoe Primary School on the Island of Yell, the second largest of the Shetland Isles.
She and her class were considering the use of Wild Earth: African Safari for the Wii and wondered if it would be a worthwhile context for learning. Through the work they have shared with me it is clear that they have been involved in a very engaging, motivating and successful piece of learning. I had the great privilege of meeting the children online at the tail end of last week. We set up a Glowmeet and through the use of this technology children over 400 miles away, including at least one flight and a ferry, could share the fantastic work they had done with me in real time and get immediate feedback. Go and visit the Burravoe Primary School blog, read about life in their school and read the “Brilliant Story” by Charlotte in p3.
Through the use of technology available to those in Scottish Education our children have access to an immediate national audience for their work, Glow groups, glow meet, CANVAS and a host of blogs allow our children the opportunity to share their work and receive feedback . We should all be sharing our practice and seeking feedback on the work we do and providing constructive feedback on the work of others. We cannot afford to be islands.
- November 8th, 2007
- Derek Robertson
- Comments: 3 Comments » Tags: : Categories Consolarium visits, East Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire
We had the great pleasure of welcoming colleagues from West and East Dunbartonshire to the Consolarium today.
We spent some time discussing the role that new technologies and in particular, games, can play in teaching and learning in the classroom of today. Luckily enough we had some game literate people although this did not stop everyone else having a go at playing the games. Again, we have found that much of our rationale for games based learning received an understanding and willing ear from today’s visitors and it looks as though both authorities will feature in the ‘Sharing Practice’ area of our site before long.
Two of the primary representatives spent some time looking at Cosmic Family for the Wii. This game is in a similar vein to Buzz Jungle Party in the sense that it contains lots of mini-games that teachers could use particularly in the Nursery setting. Pre-reading, pre-number activities also colour recognition and problem-solving tasks abound in this quirky and enjoyable game. This is one game that we suggest is worth looking at for nurseries…
Accompanying the local authority people were two representatives from Engineering the Future at Glasgow University. Games based learning is reaching out to a number of agencies and the interest from this one is all about looking at how games may impact on developing school children’s interest in engineering. Hopefully this initial meeting will be something that we can report on in future. In the meantime if anyone can recommend any games that they feel have relevance to engineering then please let us know.
- October 4th, 2007
- Derek Robertson
- Comments: 7 Comments » Tags: : Categories Consolarium visits, Falkirk
A few months ago Stuart Lennie and the ICT Development team from Falkirk Council came to visit the Consolarium. We had a very good day and as a result of that initial meeting we now have a number of games based learning projects happening in that local authority. Not only that but last night they held a CPD computer games for learning event at Bo’ness Academy.
I was asked to give an initial talk about the place and value of computer games in teaching and learning but the real reason to be there was to see what is happening in schools in that authority. It seems that games based learning is certainly taking hold in Falkirk.
Here are just some of the things that are happening there:
Falkirk Council Active Schools: The people from the active schools team gave a demonstration of the Stepmania software that you can install on your PC and is then controlled via a USB connected dance mat. Maybe the people that say computer games cause obseity in youngsters need to have alook, and a go , at some of the se activity based games. Have a look at some other exertainment links.
Bankier Primary School: The children and teachers from Bankier PS gave a demonstration of RM Easiteach dance mat resources. Have a look at this in action.
Bo’ness Academy: The staff and pupils from the pupil support department gave a demonstration of how skilled they are becoming at using the Nintendo Wii Sports game and Big Brian Academy for the Wii. We hope to follow up this project in the near future.
Bo’ness Academy: Now this is a particularly interesting and juicy games based project. The English Department are using the Nintendo DS and the Phoenix Wright game as the context for a writing project. The children are allowed to take the consoles and the game home but they are expected to complete the case files that Phoenix has to solve. Up to now there has been 100% completion of the tasks and the associated and unconnected homework. When they come back to class the teacher is using the context of the game to encourage the children to write their own newspaper reports of the crimes that are being investigated in the game, they are writing scripts so that these can be recorderd and shared via podcast and they are developing their own characters that will appear in their own crime mystery stories. Much more of this to come in the near future.
Denny Nursery: The staff from Denny Nursery gave a demonstration of Primary Steps Phonics software that uses a dance mat. This resource is really taking off and is making appearance in mnay local authoriuties.
Easter Carmuirs Primary: The very popular and successful Sony PS2 game Buzz has just included another version into its family. It’s called Buzz!: The School Quiz and this school is j ust one of a number throughout Scotland that the Consolarium has managed to make available as part of a pilot project with Sony. Again, much more to come about this…
Glenfair Nursery: The staff from gave a demonstration of the Eye Toy for the Playstation 2 and talked about the impact that this is having on the youngsters in that context. One thing that it seems to be teaching the children is turn taking and queuing. It seems that the Eye Toy is the first thing that the children want to queue for in the Nursery!
Very well done to all at Falkirk for what was a truly exciting and inspiring CPD session. We look forward to reporting in depth about all of these projects.More
- September 29th, 2007
- Derek Robertson
- Comments: 3 Comments » Tags: : Categories Consolarium, Consolarium visits, Peth & Kinross
Since December ’06 we have had quite a lot of local authorities visit the Consolarium. An initial interest in what games based learning has to offer and then an exploration of how this could impact in their particular context leads to projects and pilots happening in schools. On Friday we had a visit from colleagues from Perth and Kinross. Having seen a couple of the games based learning presentations at SLF ’07 Jim Hynd and Matthew Mackie from Perth High School contacted me to see if they could visit the Consolarium and find out a bit more about what is happening with games in Secondary schools. So along with Mark McShane, ICT Development Officer, they came for a visit yesterday.
It seems that Jim in particular has an interest in games. He is a level 6 ‘Mage’ (is that right Jim?) in World of Warcraft and has used games in his practice for years it seems. Matthew and Mark were also aware of the wider landscape of games and they were very keen to explore how games could impact not only in Perth HS but also across the authority.
The Consolarium is proving to be a successful set-up in terms of engaging local authorities with reflecting on the concept of and practical application of games based learning. A visit allows engagement with the arguments and debates around the subject and then a chance to have a go at many of the games that we suggest could work in schools. Here we see Jim having a go at Wii Golf but we spent quite a bit of time looking at a range of games.
Unfortunately the gentlemen from Perth had to get back to school for the afternoon so the session had to be cut short.
Looking forward to working with colleagues in Perth & Kinross.More
- September 17th, 2007
- Derek Robertson
- Comments: 7 Comments » Tags: : Categories Consolarium visits
It’s been a while coming but at last we’ve made it, the Consolarium’s blog is finally here. The chances are that you will have found this blog via the games based learning pages within the Learning and Teaching Scotland online service so if you have welcome. If you didn’t find it via that route then you are still welcome!
Custom Robo Arena challenger).Many more posts to follow but may once again may I welcome you to this blog. It would be great for us to hear your comments about our work and to let us know what it is you are doing with games based learning. We are always looking for partners for projects as well so that we can continue to widen the scope of what we are doing so please don’t hesitate to get in touch.More