Grab your console as Promethean’s think tank steps up the pace
Guitar Hero'Guitar Hero': successful in Scottish schoolsThe acceptance of computer gaming as a potent force for learning is growing, and new research by Dr Paul Howard-Jones suggests that practice and pedagogies should take advantage of it.

The Professor of Education at the University of Bristol headlines next week’s Education Fast Forward debate – “Is this the Year of the Games? Innovation, Learning and Uncertainty” – taking place across 10 countries using Cisco Telepresence Systems. It will also be streamed live on Promethean Planet.

Education Fast Forward is a programme of high-quality, dynamic global debates on learning, conducted by some of the top practitioners and theorists in the field. It is sponsored by Promethean and supported by Cisco, and the 2012 programme is intended to intensify the focus on outcomes.

Jim WynnJim WynnEFF is keen to produce and share effective examples of good and best practice, and it wants to clarify the steps needed to replicate and freely improvise on previous success. Where learning and innovation are concerned nothing stands still for long, so change and fresh practice has to be encouraged and supported. That will be the renewed focus of EFF.

EFF spokesman and director of education at Promethean Jim Wynn explained: "I have always wanted EFF to be more than a debating society. We do seem to have been talking about the same issues for two or more decades so it is critical to make sure the debates lead to action. The next EFF will raise this issue and focus on a new field, neuroscience and gaming, which holds much promise in helping education understand how to refocus thinking around how to plan and enable effective learning. Our new call to action, is just that: action, action, action!"

Dr  Paul Howard-JonesProfessor Paul Howard-Jones at Learning Without FrontiersThe gaming debate is a hot contemporary issue, linking important research and changing practices in vanguard schools. “Educational Gaming and Neuroscience – The Next Level?” is the title of the presentation by Dr Howard-Jones, who deeply impressed visitors to London’s Learning Without Frontiers event in London in January.

His work vindicates the pioneering work in Scottish schools – using off-the-shelf games like Guitar Hero – by the Consolarium and Derek Robertson and highlights the need for more research and wider adoption for learning and teaching.

Along with the team of EFF fellows (see below and “Schooling past sell-by says Education Fast Forward") will be another guest presenter, Geoff Mulgan. The NESTA chief executive will talk about education innovation, priorities for innovation and the relationship of games and play to hard work.

Promethean’s Jim Wynn, concluded: “This is a really exciting and topical debate at a time when the games industry is riding high and the influence games can have on young people is receiving considerable media coverage. We want to examine the benefits and pitfalls of gaming in education and have a lively and informed debate on the pedagogical potential of education games.”

More information

Education Fast Forward
This Education Fast Forward event will also see the launch of a new bursary to support research projects with the potential to move education forward.

Journalists and bloggers are welcome to observe – contact Emily Bird
Tel: +44 (0)1628 407613
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Follow the debate on Twitter
Watch the debate live on Promethean Planet Education
Click here for more information on EFF Members.

Education Fast Forward brings together leading global experts and change agents from the world of education to discuss the most important topics. The forum addresses the key challenges facing governments, educators and employers both now and in the future, and aims to find practical resolutions.

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