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Derek Robertson - Hero Innovator
Written by Graham Brown-Martin on Sunday, 23 March 2008
Derek Evaluating game-based learning.

With the Byron Review, that looks into the influence of videogames on children - led by child psychologist Dr Tanya Byron, about to be published it seemed apt that we should kick off our hero innovator series with Derek Robertson of the Consolarium, Learning & Teaching Scotland.

By kind invitation I headed North to Aberdeen to visit two primary schools and a teachers training session. Having followed Derek's work and ideas for the past 2 years I had expected to be impressed but what I experienced, and hope I've gone some way to capturing, was something bordering on an epiphany.

Derek and the Consolarium initiative are studying whether learning could be dramatically enhanced by using the kind of technologies and experiences that are already a part of many young learners lives. The Consolarium is manufacturer independent, receiving no industry sponsorship and purchases all the devices and software used themselves. Derek informs me that he believes this is a critical factor in the work that the Consolarium is engaged given that platforms typically wax and wane in their popularity. The only guidance is what learners are already using and the relevance of the software. Technology platforms used include Nintendo DS and Wii, Sony PSP and PlayStation, Xbox as well as mobile phones.


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