Computing - Game on

15th May 2009 at 01:00
Teachers from Edinburgh and the Lothians spent last Friday playing games, all in the name of A Curriculum for Excellence

The new outcomes and experiences for technologies require teachers to deliver lessons about building computer games - something they have never been required to do before - according to Raymond Simpson, principal teacher of computing at Queensferry High in Edinburgh.

Members of Heriot-Watt University's computer science department believe they have developed the perfect solution - Adventure Author. On Friday, more than a dozen teachers took part in a CPD session helping them get to grips with the software, which allows pupils to create their own computer games, complete with 3D graphics.

"This is a great motivator for kids," said Judy Robertson, a lecturer. "They learn the technical skills like the programming, but storytelling skills also come through as they write the dialogue."

Some teachers, however, are concerned that their computers are too old to make use of the software.

"This is a wonderful example of what we should be doing and using, but the hardware we have in school does not allow us to run it," said Mr Simpson. "It would cost roughly Pounds 70 per machine to upgrade them."

Heriot-Watt has secured funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council to allow it to train more teachers to include game-making in their classes.

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