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Gaming skills neglected

The UK education system is not doing enough to promote the skills needed for its video gaming and special effects industries to flourish, according to a report by the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (Nesta).

Culture minister Ed Vaizey, who commissioned the report, urged schools to include an option for pupils to do computer programming. It suggests ICT in schools focuses too much on everyday applications, and not enough on computer programming knowledge.

The UK video games sector generates #163;2 billion in global sales and is expected to grow at an annual rate of 10 per cent between 2010 and 2014.

Sat-nav support for SEN pupils

Edinburgh City Council has become the first local authority in Scotland to use sat-nav technology to assist special-needs pupils.

Teenager Craig Nibloe became the first pupil to use a tiny sat-nav device to help him on his bus journey to Pilrig Park School. Its two-way communication system means pupils can be contacted if they get on the wrong bus or can summon help if they are ill. Teachers, meanwhile, can keep tabs on pupils' exact location via a computer. The council hopes to roll the device out across other special needs schools in the city.

Lesson-capture software on top

The most sought-after technologies in schools will be lesson-capture software and mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablet computers, according to a survey at education technology show BETT last month. Twenty-seven per cent of respondents said lesson-capture software (enabling teachers to record and store lessons) was top of their ICT wish list. There was also high demand for interactive whiteboards, laptops and subject-specific software packages.

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