Tuesday 15th April/... New moves in Scotland to encourage a greater understanding and harnessing of the digital age– including teaching pupils to make computer games in class– have been welcomed by the UK’s games trade body ELSPA.
Scottish schoolchildren are to be taught how to design and develop their own electronic games as part of the Scottish Government's new approach to learning, Curriculum for Excellence.
Pupils will use software to create their games in a move which it is hoped will create dynamic young programmers of the future who will ensure the continued success of Scotland's games industry, which employs more than 500 and generates£20million annually.
Pupils will also be taught how to use computer software to create animations and feature films.
Some children across Scotland are already experiencing computer design and animation in class but this is the first time guidelines on what skills children should be equipped with have been presented.
Paul Jackson, ELSPA Director General, said:“We applaud the move to teach a better understanding of the digital age. The Leitch Review, a report instigated by the Treasury, concluded that the UK was falling behind other leading countries when it came to developer skills– a vital resource for the UK gamers industry.
“The initiative in Scotland is clearly a step in the right direction and the Scottish government is setting a good example. We hope similar schemes will be considered for the rest of the country. Programming and developing games is one of the areas in which we have traditionally done well in the UK– but ensuring we stay among the top countries for development in the years ahead is no easy task. Introducing the mechanics of making and designing games in schools is one way to ensure we stand a chance of staying ahead of the curve.”
Curriculum for Excellence aims to provide seamless education from age three to 18 and is taking a fresh look at what is taught in schools and how.
It aims to ensure that all young people can be successful learners, effective contributors, confident individuals and responsible citizens.
School pupils are already seeing changes in their classrooms through the groundwork that has been ongoing since 2004. The draft outcomes provide further tools for teachers. The plans are being firmed up in this school year and in 2009-2010 all schools across Scotland will be working on delivery.
Curriculum for Excellence will shift the balance between a teaching process that is heavily dependent on content to one that values new approaches that improve pupils' understanding of what is being taught. This is not a one-off change but the start of a continuous process of review to ensure that the curriculum remains up to date.
About ELSPA - http://www.elspa.com
ELSPA (The Entertainment&Leisure Software Publishers Association) was founded in 1989 to establish a specific and collective identity for the computer and video games industry. Membership includes almost all companies concerned with the publishing and distribution of interactive leisure software in the UK.
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