game n. - an activity providing entertainment or amusement; a pastime.

There are a number of definitions for the word, “game”, but you’ll struggle to find any connected with learning and education. After all, games are fun and the business of learning is something entirely more serious… students study and the years spent in school, college and university should be challenging (at times), character-building (hopefully) and ultimately rewarding (hopefully)

… but fun?

No, I don’t think so.

Robot sitting down holding a sign that reads 'Did you know that Game to Learn: Take 2! is FREE to attend?'Still, there are those who obstinately maintain that games do have a place in education – not only the so-called serious games, which have been designed with learning in mind, but the games people actually want to buy for themselves.

Some even propose that games have something to tell us about the way we teach – that there are lessons to be learnt from the strategies employed by people playing games and the developers who design them. Perhaps most surprising of all, is the idea that we shouldn’t only be playing games, but creating them too!

Well, Game to Learn: Take 2! aims to set the record straight. Learning and Teaching Scotland’s Consolarium in partnership with the JISC Regional Support Centre Scotland North & East have joined together to bring you Scotland’s largest Games-based Learning conference.

Listen to the key speakers in the field, try out some of the latest ’serious games’ or design your own and see for yourself how games can offer more than simple entertainment.  It’s also an ideal opportunity to meet with others to discuss how we can all benefit from the application of gaming technology.

Highlights include:

Thursday 17th March
24hr Codebash – we have recruited 10 games developers who have kindly agreed to spend a day working with subject specialists to create an educational game. Teams of 2 (developer & specialist) will be randomly chosen and will have 24 hours to come up with a game and accompanying lesson plan to be presented on the Friday. Prizes will be awarded for the most inspiring examples!

Thank you for all those who applied to join the codebash - we have now selected the 10 subject specialists for the day; now all that’s left to do is to wait and see what fantastic games they can come up with!

Friday 18th March
The first day of the conference proper will be hosted by Dundee College – with an exciting line-up of keynotes, seminars and hands-on sessions. The output from Thursday’s codebash will also be on display, with the chance to speak to the teams who have worked through the night on their games (okay, well maybe not the whole night).

The target audience for Friday is staff from schools, college and universities - though others with an interest in games-based learning are welcome to register. For the full programme, visit the Friday Programme page.

Saturday 19th March
Hosted at the University of Abertay Dundee, this part of the conference has been organised by Learning and Teaching Scotland’s Consolarium and focuses on the use of games within schools. A series of presentations in the morning highlights how games have been used to great effect with learners. In the afternoon, delegates can choose from 10 workshops which will get them started on the journey to employing games-based learning with their own students.

The target audience for Saturday is school staff and student teachers. Others are free to register, but preference will be given to delegates from these institutions. For the full programme, visit the Saturday Programme page.