Saturday Programme

The Saturday Programme offers both a fun-packed CPD event for teachers as well as a celebration of the diverse and innovative practice in games-based learning and game design that has been happening in schools across Scotland. Over the past few years the LTS Consolarium initiative has been working with partner schools across Scotland to help nurture the idea that commercially available computer games, that have been developed for entertainment, can be used to help create appealing, purposeful and challenging contexts for learning.

Visitors to Scottish schools should not be surprised to find games such as Nintendogs, Eyepet, Professor Layton, Dr Kawashima or Guitar Hero playing a central role in learning and teaching. These visitors would also find a developing culture of games design in our schools, a culture that is embedded in the aspiration and expectation that Scottish learners have the capacity and capability to develop the skills required to create and not just consume computer games. Our children are creative and talented, experiences such as these can help them realise and extend their ability.

This conference will allow us to share the innovative and effective work of just some of the many practitioners in Scotland who have embraced games-based-learning. The knowledge and experience that will be shared by our colleagues from schools will then be complemented in the afternoon by a range of differentiated hands-on activities aimed at developing your own confidence and competence in this field. These activities range from developing computer games design skills from the early stages all the way through to S6 as well as exploring treasure hunting via geocaching and a games-based learning dance session!

This conference promises to deliver an exciting and inspiring CPD experience for those involved in education. We look forward to seeing you there.”

Derek Robertson, Learning and Teaching Scotland

Location

The Saturday Programme is being hosted by the University of Abertay Dundee - please check the Location page for details on how to travel to the venue.

Click on the presentation titles for more information about each individual session. This page is being updated over the week, so please check back for announcements.

09:15 Arrival and Registration (refreshments available)
10:00 Introduction
Principal, University of Abertay Dundee
10:10 Keynote: What Can We Learn About Assessment from Video Games?
Derek Robertson, National Adviser, Consolarium, Learning and Teaching Scotland
10:45 AM Parallel Sessions
Seminar 1 a. Nintendogs in the Classroom. Best in Show?
Anna Rossvoll, Glow Development Officer, Aberdeenshire Council
b. Can Nintendogs Enhance Learning? A Research Perspective
Dr David Miller, University of Dundee
Seminar 2 a. Making Friends with the Kinectimals in a Nursery Setting
Louise Reid & Judi Regan, Menzieshill Nursery School, Dundee City Council
b. ‘Profesor Layton and the Lost Future’ Finds Use in the Classroom
Jim Coyle, Depute Head Teacher, St Andrews RC Primary School, Dundee City Council
Seminar 3 a. Augmented Reality? Real Life Learning with the Eyepet for the PS3
Brian McLaren, Depute Head Teacher, Clackmannan PS, Clackmannanshire Council
b. On a Mission to Engage all Learners with Games-based Learning
Gerry Munro, Head Teacher, Longhaugh PS, Dundee City Council
Seminar 4 a. Just Dance and Help the Whole School Become Active!
Fiona Ferrie, PE Teacher, Doon Academy
Alison Crawford, Development Officer, East Ayrshire Council

b. Modern Foreign Languages - A Games-based Learning Approach
Helene Clark, French Teacher, Firrhill High School, Edinburgh City
Seminar 5 a. Hotel Dusk Room 215: Film Noir, Computer Games and Podcasting
Lisa Sorbie, PT English, Perth High School, Perth & Kinross Council
b. Developing Storywriting and Other Curricular Areas through Games Design
Mathew Reid, English Teacher, Garnock Academy, North Ayrshire
Seminar 6 a. Creation and Not Consumption: Games Design in the Primary with Kodu
Avril Denton, Class Teacher, Girvan Primary School, South Ayrshire Council
b. If Nannie Touches Meg then Change Costume to no Tail
Karl Barr, Class Teacher, Anstruther Primary School, Fife Council
Seminar 7 a. Digital Storytelling and Computer Game Design Using Adventure Maker
Mark Cunningham, PT Computing, Forrester High School, Edinburgh City Council
b. A Games-based Learning Curriculum for ICT in S1
Mary Rooney & Alan McGregor, PT Computing & ICT Co-ordinator, Clydebank HS, West Dunbartonshire
Seminar 8 a. Travelling in Time - Exploring the Past with Historic Scotland
Andrew Shaw, Learn Direct & Build
b. Super Microbe World: Teaching Science and Hygiene through Games
David Farrell, PhD Researcher, Glasgow Caledonian University
11:50 Wander and Learn - Exhibitors
12:20 Lunch
13:20 PM Parallel Sessions
Workshop 1 An Introduction to Using Kodu for Game Design in the Upper Primary School
Avril Denton, Class Teacher, Girvan Primary School, South Ayrshire Council
Workshop 2 Taking Further Steps with Kodu in the Secondary Classroom
Charlie Love, Development Officer, LTS Consolarium
Workshop 3 Getting Started with Scratch in the Primary School
Alex Duff, Development Officer, LTS
Workshop 4 Purple Mash: Glow Resources that Can Help Develop the Creative Mindset
Alan Yeoman, 2Simple Software
Workshop 5 Build Your Own Blocks: Looking at Making Networkable Games
Brian Clark, Development Offer, LTS Consolarium
Workshop 6 Using RPG Maker VX to Help Tell Stories & Make Connections Across Learning
Mathew Reid, English Teacher, Garnock Academy, North Ayrshire
Workshop 7 Flash, Bang, Wallop!
Colin Maxwell, Carnegie College
Workshop 8 3D Wonderland
Ian Simpson, Inverurie Academy
Workshop 9 Playful, Outdoor and Blended Learning Using GPS
Ollie Bray, National Adviser for Emerging Technologies in Learning, Learning & Teaching Scotland
Workshop 10 “If you’re asking, I’m dancing!” - Join Us for the Just Dance-athon!
Fiona Ferrie, PE Teacher, Doon Academy
Derek Robertson, National Adviser, Consolarium, Learning and Teaching Scotland
14:55 Refreshments
15:10 Keynote: The Wonderful World of Little Big Planet 2 and What it Can Bring to Your Classroom
Siobhan Reddy, Studio Director, Media Molecule
15:40 Closing - Evaluation & Prizes
15:50 End

Keynotes

What Can We Learn About Assessment from Video Games?

Derek Robertson, National Adviser for Emerging Technologies and Learning, Learning and Teaching Scotland

When you watch children play video games, have you ever thought about how the progress they make and the skill levels they attain can be linked to assessment - a vital ingredient in the teaching and learning process? It is clear that ‘learning’ is happening when children play games, but how is the assessment of this learning happening and what is it about the world of the video game that encourages and nurtures this apparent intrinsic motivation to improve performance?

In this presentation, Derek Robertson will use a range of media to show how assessment through games is directly linked to the principles of assessment as detailed in Building the Curriculum 5. He will also show how Scottish teachers have become central to the growth of games-based learning in schools.

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The Wonderful World of Little Big Planet 2 and What it Can Bring to Your Classroom

Siobhan Reddy, Studio Director, Media Molecule

It is sometimes an interesting challenge to consider what educational benefits can be derived from a computer game. One such game that might suggest great educational potential is Little Big Planet 2. The original version of this ’game’ contains a beautiful toolset that allows users to create their own hugely engaging and imaginative levels that can then be shared to the web and played by other users across the world.

There are now well over 5 million user-generated levels in the incredible world of Little Big Planet, a virtual global garden of the most incredibly imaginative ideas and experiences that come from the players of computer games. It appears that players/learners are choosing to engage with contexts that are challenging, demanding and appealing and as such, maybe this incredible community of creativity that has grown out of the domains in which learners choose to be situated can give those in the education domain something to really think about.

This presentation will focus on what new delights Little Big Planet 2 brings to the table and the potential that can be exploited within this game to enhance teaching and learning in classrooms.

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Seminars

Nintendogs in the Classroom. Best in Show?

Anna Rossvoll, Glow Development Officer, Aberdeenshire Council

If you visit some classes in Scotland these days, don’t be surprised to find some children looking after, walking and training dogs. You may be wondering what on earth they are thinking of having dogs in the classroom, but don’t worry, there’s no health and safety issues here, no need to sweep up the dog hairs or to even open a can of dogfood - for these dogs are not real.

They are virtual dogs appearing in the game Nintendogs for the Nintendo DS, and they have been used to create a rich, dynamic and inclusive educational context for the learners involved in this games-based-learning initiative. This presentation will show how innovative teachers have used this successful commercially available games title to drive a rich and motivational learning experience for young children.

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Can Nintendogs Enhance Learning? A Research Perspective

Dr David Miller, University of Dundee

As a result of the feedback from teachers and the anecdotal evidence about impact on learning of the various Nintendogs projects the Consolarium has initiated and carried out, it was decided to commission some research to see if we could offer some evidence to support what teachers said they were witnessing in class.

This presentation will share the very interesting findings that the researchers from the University of Dundee gathered over the course of their visits to a number of P1 classrooms in Aberdeenshire. It promises to offer some enlightening and thought-provoking findings about the use of such built-for-entertainment resources that are now being used in schools.

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Making Friends with the Kinectimals in a Nursery Setting

Louise Reid (left) & Judi Regan (right), Menzieshill Nursery School, Dundee City Council

This presentation will share the experiences of the teachers and children who have been working with the Consolarium team to explore the use of the game Kinectimals in the early years setting. This highly engaging game allows the player/learner to make friends with and tame the most beautiful lion, tiger and leopard cubs.

What is ground-breaking about this game is that it does not require a handheld controller and in so doing it frees the player to use their own body to control the and interact with the game. Come along to see just how a game such as this can be used to enhance learning in the early years setting.

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‘Profesor Layton and the Lost Future’ Finds Use in the Classroom

Jim Coyle, Depute Head Teacher, St Andrews RC Primary School, Dundee City Council

Curriculum for Excellence includes computer games in its wider definition of what a text is. The Consolarium team have been keen to explore how games such as Professor Layton and the Lost Future for the Nintendo DS can be used by in classrooms to engage learners with stories and to enhance learning.

We are finding that games that are consciously constructed around the idea of the computer game as a text can offer the appeal of an engaging narrative driven mystery adventure, but also, in this case, there is mathematical problem solving embedded at every turn in the gameplay. This presentation will showcase just how the the promise of a resource that offers purposeful and appealing opportunities to explore literacy and numeracy development as well as other curricular areas can be exploited to great effect in the Upper Primary classroom.

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Augmented Reality? Real Life Learning with the Eyepet for the PS3

Brian McLaren, Depute Head Teacher, Clackmannan PS, Clackmannanshire Council

This presentation will share how the world of augmented reality has been making its presence felt in early years settings of Scottish schools. The Consolarium team has been working with a number of schools to explore how the Eyepet for the Sony PS3 can be used to enhance learning.

The Eyepet is an incredibly cute and loveable creature that lives on screen in the digital world. What is special about the Eyepet is that it can be stroked, tickled and looked after by the simple movement of someone’s hand. Come and see how this magical and beguiling experience has enabled teachers to create dynamic and motivating learning experiences for children to enjoy and learn from.

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On a Mission to Engage all Learners with Games-based Learning

Gerry Munro, Head Teacher, Longhaugh PS, Dundee City Council

Christmas 2009 proved to be a pivotal moment in how Gerry Munro saw the curriculum developing in his school. One gift he received was about to challenge and change his mindset and as a result, significantly impact on the learning of the pupils at Longhaugh PS. The gift was a PS3 with the accompanying game Little Big Planet.

Playing the game with his seven-year-old son highlighted the huge potential games-based learning could play in his school. It was from this point on that he embarked on a mission to engage all learners in his school by using a multi-platform approach to games-based learning. In this presentation, Gerry will share with you the exciting journey that his school has embarked on and how his mission to engage all learners at Longhaugh PS is progressing.

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Just Dance and Help the Whole School Become Active!

Fiona Ferrie, PE Teacher, Doon Academy (left)
Alison Crawford, Development Officer, East Ayrshire Council (right)

One of the criticisms of games-based learning is that it promotes a sedentary lifestyle. This presentation will challenge that stereotypical view of GBL by showcasing how the game Just Dance for the Nintendo Wii has impacted on Doon Academy’s efforts to make their whole school an active school.

You will hear how the context of exercise in the dance world offered by this game greatly impacted on participation in PE by teenage girls; how it brought the whole school together for a Doon Academy Dance session in the school library and how even the school dinner ladies wanted to bring activity to their daily routine by stealing a few moments to Just Dance! A great example of good teachers using good resources to enhance learning.

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Modern Foreign Languages - A Games-based Learning Approach

Helene Clark, French Teacher, Firrhill High School, Edinburgh City

How do you motivate reluctant learners to learn a language? How do you push high achievers to learn words and phrases on their own? This session will explore the use of My French Coach on the Nintendo DS in the secondary school classroom.  It will focus on the use of the software as a learning and motivation tool, its impact on pupils experience and the links with Curriculum for Excellence.

Come and see examples of classroom methodology, resources, work produced and next steps. This session should be of interest not only to language specialists, but to both primary and secondary school teachers who are keen to use a subject specific game in their classroom and across the curriculum.

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Hotel Dusk Room 215: Film Noir, Computer Games and Podcasting

Lisa Sorbie, PT English, Perth High School, Perth & Kinross Council

The developing genre of narrative-driven games and how these can be used to engage learners with writing and reading is an area of games-based learning that the Consolarium has been very keen to explore. This presentation will focus on how an S2 class from Perth High School used the game Hotel Dusk Room 215 for the Nintendo DS to initiate an investigation into the noir genre of writing.

This coupled with Old Time Detective stories freely available on iTunes became the stimulus for this class of children to find out just what the main aspects of the noir genre were and how this knowledge could help them begin to write, and record their own noir style audio recordings. Be prepared for depressed skylines, rainy nights, hard bitten detectives and… a real story of motivated learners.

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Developing Storywriting and Other Curricular Areas through Games Design

Mathew Reid, English Teacher, Garnock Academy, North Ayrshire

What can come out of a great novel writing club? A computer game! This project was the brain child of pupils from Garnock Academy in North Ayrshire and their English Teacher, Matthew Reid. They put together the first level of an epic adventure game/RPG using content which was originally intended for their novel.

The game was created using RPG Maker VX and involves the hero, Ben, undertaking a quest to save the kingdom from a dragon in return for the hand of the princess in marriage. Ben has to solve riddles, explore the island to retrieve objects and talk to the inhabitants to gather information. Come along to see how this award-winning initiative embraced computer games design and in so doing enhanced learning in literacy and made connections across learning.

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Creation and Not Consumption: Games Design in the Primary with Kodu

Avril Denton, Class Teacher, Girvan Primary School, South Ayrshire Council

In keeping with a clear focus on games design as documented in the Technologies outcomes of Curriculum for Excellence, the Consolarium team have been working with a number of applications within schools to help to develop capacity in this area. This session looks at one of these applications - Kodu.

It will focus on Kodu’s usefulness as a learning tool within the primary school and will provide a brief history of Kodu’s beginnings at Girvan Primary school and discuss it’s impact on the curriculum. In particular, it will look at how best to get started with Kodu and its links with a range of CfE experiences and outcomes. It will also highlight the the pupil mentoring scheme and demonstrate example games from pupils at various stages. Come along to see how game design is really within your grasp.

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If Nannie Touches Meg then Change Costume to no Tail

Karl Barr, Class Teacher, Anstruther Primary School, Fife Council

The Primary 7 class at Anstruther Primary School has been exploring the fantastic ‘SCRATCH’ program and using it to enhance and enrich their learning. What started out as a straightforward games creation project soon developed into an engaging cross curricular task involving Scotland’s best known ‘blethering, blustering, drunken blellum’.

Within ‘Curriculum for Excellence’, games creation goes far above and beyond the Technologies Strand. The benefits to the learner (and teacher!) are considered.  Literacy, numeracy, reasoning, creativity and collaborative learning are just some of the areas to be discussed from a practical point of view. Come along to find out just how the marriage of Robert Burns and computer game design impacted on all learners in this classroom.

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Digital Storytelling and Computer Game Design Using Adventure Maker

Mark Cunningham, PT Computing, Forrester High School, Edinburgh City Council

Adventure Maker is a free program which makes it easy for learners to design and create their own point-and-click adventure games. At Forrester High School we have developed an English/Computing interdisciplinary project in which pupils use Adventure Maker to turn their stories into engaging and interactive adventure games.

This presentation will explore the methodology used, the impact on pupil learning experience and demonstrate pupil work.

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A Games-based Learning Curriculum for ICT in S1

Mary Rooney & Alan McGregor, PT Computing & ICT Co-ordinator, Clydebank HS, West Dunbartonshire

Games-based Learning for Clydebank High School has been a platform from which to excite and motivate our S1 pupils learning. Under the guise of Mario Kart® we have been able to promote computing topics, develop team and collaborative working and link naturally with other curricular areas.

Pupils are motivated, confident and successful contributors. This has been a huge challenge and one we are still realising. We do not claim to have all the answers and are ourselves still learning however teaching and learning within this context is fun, varied and engaging for all. So do you want to play?

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Travelling in Time - Exploring the Past with Historic Scotland

Andrew Shaw, Learn Direct & Build

In order to get kids interested in a career in the heritage sector, you need to tell them what it’s all about, and that’s why Learn Direct & Build developed a time-travelling secret agent online game.

Taking on the role of Max McLeod, a top agent from Historic Scotland’s Time Crime Department, the player must track down a Time Vandal in Stirling Castle with the help of the heritage workers they encounter on the way. Finding clues, playing mini-games and of course hoping through time, the player must stop the course of history being altered and preserve the built heritage. Filled with links to the national curriculum the game is ideal for kids, teachers and parents.

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Super Microbe World: Teaching Science and Hygiene through Games

David Farrell, PhD Researcher, Glasgow Caledonian University

More than 50 scientists and teachers from 18 European countries worked on the e-Bug project to create a resource that could help teach young people about microbes, hygiene and antibiotics. This talk will discuss the pedagogical underpinnings of the two games that were developed in this process and will show that games can be both fun and educational.

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Workshops

An Introduction to Using Kodu for Game Design in the Upper Primary School

Avril Denton, Class Teacher, Girvan Primary School, South Ayrshire Council

Imagine being able to use an accessible tool to create your own Xbox style computer game with a volcano, an island and a forest and then to be able to place characters in this world to interact with. You might think a University course might be required here but with Microsoft’s free Kodu Gamelab software learners have the tools to do just this using a simple WHEN/DO language and a game controller.

In this session you will take your first steps in making simple Kodu worlds and games. Sign up and unleash the game designer in you! You’ll be surprised at just what you can do.

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Taking Further Steps with Kodu in the Secondary Classroom

Charlie Love, Development Officer, LTS Consolarium

Microsoft Kodu Game lab allows learners of all abilities to create engaging interactive worlds. This session will focus on how Kodu has been used in Secondary classrooms to address aspects of a Curriculum for Excellence.  This will include opportunities to engage with numeracy, literacy and technologies outcomes as part of the games design process.

This session is aimed at teachers who have more experience in using this application or who come from a Secondary computing background.

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Getting Started with Scratch in the Primary School

Alex Duff, Development Officer, LTS

Scratch is a free, cross-platform piece of software that allows users to create interactive art, animations, stories and games. This session will introduce you to the scratch environment, programming, how it can be used within the context of CfE and direct you to support materials to let you implement what you have learned as soon you want.

You will be amazed at what you can create - and what you will create by the end of this session. This will be of interest to primary school teachers who are keen to engage with the game design experiences and outcomes.

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Purple Mash: Glow Resources that Can Help Develop the Creative Mindset

Alan Yeoman, 2Simple Software

From the earliest stages in a child’s learning, it is important that they are exposed to opportunities where they can create and not just consume digital materials. Purple Mash is a creative online space, accessible through Glow for all pupils and staff that can help in this regard.

This session will explore the tools available in Purple Mash, including 2Publish - allows pupils to create simple layouts using text and drawings; 2Design & Make - Design and make 3D models and 2AnimateLite - simple frame animation to develop an understanding of sequences and processes. Glow users also have access to the 2Publish Projects which are ready made activities using the 2Publish application. This session would be of great benefit to those working in Nursery and Lower Primary settings.

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Build Your Own Blocks: Looking at Making Networkable Games

Brian Clark, Development Offer, LTS Consolarium

Build Your Own Blocks (BYOB) is a modification of Scratch, that allows you to do all the things you do in Scratch, but with some fantastic extras. This session will focus on these extra features and show you how to build networked games /applications and create customised blocks.

This session would suit anyone who is familiar with Scratch, but may be particularly appealing to Secondary schools where pupils have already had experience on Scratch in primary. A quick taster BYOB can be found on the Consolarium blog

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Using RPG Maker VX to Help Tell Stories & Make Connections Across Learning

Mathew Reid, English Teacher, Garnock Academy, North Ayrshire

Role Playing Games are a wonderful way to involve learners with language and play. RPG Maker VX allows you to create you own unique RPG without any programming experience. In this first session you will start to create your own game and focus on how literacy can be embedded in the game design process.

This session would be of benefit to those working in upper primary classrooms as well as Secondary teachers looking to focus on opportunities to extend the storywriting experience and explore ways in which they can create connections across learning.

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Flash, Bang, Wallop!

Colin Maxwell, Carnegie College

The workshop will cover the basics of making games with Adobe Flash, controlling character movement, moving objects, collision detection and scoring. By the end of the workshop delegates will have made a simple game with Adobe Flash and learned techniques that can be used to make different games.

Delegates will have be given written notes and access to video tutorials so that they can repeat the exercises and extend them after the workshop.

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3D Wonderland

Ian Simpson, Inverurie Academy

Alice is an innovative 3D programming environment that makes it easy to create an animation for telling a story, playing an interactive game, or a video to share on the web. As well as being an excellent teaching tool for exposing students to fundamental programming concepts, it can also be used to create learning simulations.

Delegates will have the opportunity to explore the Alice environment, learn how to make their characters and objects interact, and begin to create their own 3D learning environment.

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Playful, Outdoor and Blended Learning Using GPS

Ollie Bray, National Adviser for Emerging Technologies in Learning, Learning & Teaching Scotland

Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices (like the ones you find on your mobile phone). The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online. Globally there are over one million geocaches around the world including lots in Scotland. The game can be played by people from all age groups and it promotes a strong sense of community and high environmental ethos. It is also great fun!

This practical workshop will look at how GPS can used to create playful learning environments and promote inter-disciplinary learning. As well as some practical examples of how geocaching is being used in schools this workshop will get you out and about around Dundee finding your first caches. A coat and sense of humour are compulsory pre-requisites for this workshop.

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“If you’re asking, I’m dancing!” - Join Us for the Just Dance-athon!

Fiona Ferrie, PE Teacher, Doon Academy
Derek Robertson, National Adviser, Consolarium, Learning and Teaching Scotland

Games are about being actively involved! Be it the cognitive challenge or the competition - active participation is key. This session is very much about getting your hands, and feet for that matter, on some games that require you to get actively involved! Bring your dancing shoes (no Cuban heels ), your best 1970’s disco gear and join Fiona and Derek as they lead you through an active dance session using Just Dance for the Nintendo Wii and Dance Central for the Xbox360.

Situated underneath the resplendent glitterballs of the University of Abertay Student Union this CPD event promises to be unlike any that you have attended before. Be prepared to take control of the games and explore just how a computer game can raise your level of activity and get you and the learners in your school engaging with physical exercise within the context of the world of the computer game.

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