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“Game to Learn” conference brings eLearning experts from across Scotland to Abertay

Educationalists, computing experts and others from across Scotland are at the University of Abertay Dundee today to discuss the latest advances in using computer games as a learning tool.

Abertay is hosting the annual conference of the eLearning Alliance Scotland, a body dedicated to promoting best practice and information sharing among organisations and individuals interested in using technology to enhance learning.

Almost 90 delegates are attending the“Game to Learn” conference today in Abertay’s National Centre for Excellence in Computer Games Education.

Thirteen organisations are giving presentations on topics ranging from learning by playing with Xbox and Wii, to experiences gained from working with Channel 4 Learning.

Other topics being covered include: how games can transform learning, why business can’t ignore the computer game, and gaming for health.

The keynote speaker is Dr. Pamela Kato, of the University of Utrecht, on the topic "Educating the World, One Cell At a Time". Dr. Kato is an internationally recognized leader in the fields of health psychology and video games.

She is currently developing a serious game simulation that takes the player on a journey through the body of young patients with different kinds of cancer.

The game was created in collaboration with video game developers and scientific and medical consultants and helps players stick to their prescribed treatments, giving them a sense of power and control over their disease.

Delegates will have the opportunity to try out online and installed games in a dedicated 'hands-on' lab in the Centre for Excellence.

Abertay computing lecturer and conference organiser Malcolm McTavish said:“We are delighted to be hosting this year’s eLearning Alliance conference. This is an exciting time for eLearning, as the technology matures and the Internet creates ever bigger opportunities for using games to bring education to life.

“Today’s conference gives our members a chance to listen to and meet some of the key people in the field, and try out some of the latest’serious games’ to see for themselves how these games offer more than simple entertainment.

“It’s also an ideal opportunity to meet with others in Scotland’s eLearning community and discuss how we can all benefit from the application of gaming technology,” he added.

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Media enquiries: Kevin Coe, tel 07850 904110, email k.coe@abertay.ac.uk

NOTES FOR EDITORS

Conference website : www.gametolearn.org

eLearning is about the application of computer and internet technologies to facilitate, distribute and enhance learning right across the spectrum from primary schools to workplace learning for adults . eLearning covers the use of a variety of media and techniques for learning, including text, sound, graphics, photography, animation, simulations, games, video, email, discussion forums, chat rooms, virtual meetings or tutorials, automated assessments, and much more. Providers of eLearning frequently offer a blend of these with more traditional learning approaches such as coursework, coaching, action learning, etc. Users of eLearning appreciate the range of opportunities available, with something to suit every learning style preference.

Membership of the eLearning Alliance is open to any organisation or individual with an interest in eLearning in Scotland. Members include technology enablers, content providers, consultants, colleges, broadcasters, educational and professional bodies, publishers, software developers, training providers, universities and corporate users of eLearning for employee development.

Abertay University enjoys an international reputation for offering world-class education in a range of games industry relevant awards. The University’s status as a Skillset Media Academy, alongside accredited courses in game arts and technology, confirms industry recognition of the quality of its graduates and the relevance of its courses.

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