Two new games-based projects using Wii consoles are to be piloted in Aberdeenshire schools. One will investigate the science educational potential of Kororinpa, a marble maze game. The other will look at opportunities to explore biodiversity, conservation and climate change using the game Endless Ocean.
Derek Robertson, national development officer for new technologies for Learning and Teaching Scotland, announced the initiatives at the Embracing New Technologies for Learning conference at Meldrum Academy in Oldmeldrum last month. But he cautioned teachers against relinquishing control of technology.
"We're the teachers and it's really important that we don't acquiesce and hand technology over to the learners," he said. "Some people advocate that; that they know more about it than we do. Maybe so, but we know more about teaching and learning than pupils do. And it's about using technology in targeted and effective ways to help children move forward."
He also demonstrated how yelping newborn puppies in the game Nintendogs for DS consoles, used in a pilot with P2 pupils at Elrick and Banchory primary schools in Aberdeenshire, have delivered a range of educational benefits.
"You teach them to sit and to lie down, to jump and to beg, and you take them to dog competitions," he said, as the puppies rolled around on a big screen at the front of the auditorium.
"We found animations happening, and lots of writing activities. The children made kennels; they found out about Crufts; the book corner was packed with books about dogs, and it was very popular."